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Zika virus help for those who are pregnant or at risk of pregnancy

February 3, 2016

Over the last week or so, I’ve noticed a lot of news about the Zika virus. And as a person with a womb who has worked in neonatal care, the effects and the risks are terrifying.

The prospect of having a child who is largely or entirely dependant on care for the whole of their possibly short lives is daunting. Sometimes disability is unavoidable, and those affected (like myself) should obviously be loved, cared for, and encouraged to live as fully as they can.

But to know that disability is preventable, and to know how to prevent it gives us, I believe, an imperative to do all we can to give parents and children the best start in life.

So. Here are a list of charities, organisations, and campaigns that are helping to prevent microcephaly and at risk pregnancies across the affected regions.

I have focussed on pregnancy and abortion because the search for a vaccine will, I believe, be the more high profile issue. I don’t want those at risk of pregnancy, miscarriage, or whose foetuses are at risk of microcephaly, to become collateral damage. They are not a way of keeping score or tracking the scale of this disease.

1. Women on Waves (CN: website uses gendered language)

Women on Waves are a charity who provide medical abortions within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. They are providing free medical abortions to those who can prove they have been infected with Zika. You can donate here.

2. Umm, well there isn’t a number 2.

Really. One organisation is all I could find offering abortion services to those at risk of a Zika affected pregnancy. And no one offering contraception.

If you know of any other organisations that should be added to the list, put them in the comments and I’ll add them to the post. Please.

There is, of course, plenty of noise from people wanting to persuade governments to change their policies around contraception and abortion. But that’s long term stuff, and doesn’t help those at risk, who need it now.

So please. Share this post around. Women on Waves (also known as Women on Web) have been getting quite a bit of press, but I’m sure they won’t mind more donations.

And if you are in a position to start an organisation or campaign to provide contraception and abortion services now to those at risk of a Zika affected pregnancy, please do so! I will publicise the shit out of you, and I won’t be alone.

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