Pro-lifers in U.S. plead with mothers not to abort unborn babies afflicted with Zika virus

A health worker fumigates a residential neighbourhood in an effort to kill the mosquitoes that bring the dreaded Zika virus.(Reuters)

Is the Zika virus that has prompted a worldwide health emergency and confirmed to have caused birth defects among babies enough justification to start killing the unborn? Pro-life individuals do not think so.

Advocates for protecting the lives of the unborn are strongly opposing moves to allow abortion in areas in the United States, such as Miami in Florida, which have already been affected by the Zika virus.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is one of the leading voices against killing babies who might be at risk of contracting birth diseases due to the Zika virus.

"I understand a lot of people disagree with my view – but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it's a difficult question and a hard one," Rubio said, as quoted by The Catholic News Agency.

"But if I'm going to err, I'm going to err on the side of life," he added.

Rubio further said that he understands the difficulties that a baby born with microcephaly—a condition linked to the Zika virus—may face as he or she grows up, but these are not enough reason to deprive them of a chance to live.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life political advocacy group, agreed with Rubio's anti-abortion stance, saying that the Zika virus infection "should not be used as a springboard for a search-and-destroy mission against disabled babies."

"Adults, children, and unborn children who are victims all deserve the same standard of care. Killing the patient is not medical treatment and we cannot make advances in medicine if we destroy patients before we find treatments for them," Dannenfelser told CNA.

"The United States strives to be a beacon for disability rights. To advocate abortion in cases of Zika and other prenatal diagnoses is a major step backwards for the rights of Americans with disabilities and a distraction from the urgent need to develop a vaccine or method to eliminate mosquitoes carrying the virus," she added.