Desperation

Brazil confiscates abortion pills sent to women amid Zika outbreak

Activists at a march for expanded female reproductive rights on International Women's Day in Brazil. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Brazilian authorities have confiscated 95 percent of the illicit abortion pills being shipped to the country amid growing desperation among Brazilian women affected with the Zika virus outbreak. Women on Web, an advocacy group based in the Netherlands that has been shipping abortion pills to women in Brazil and elsewhere in the world where abortion is illegal, said that Brazilian police have confiscated nearly all of the pills sent to the country in recent weeks. The group has been sending the combination abortion drugs misoprostol and mifepristone to women who have contacted them for help.

“Packages are checked when they arrive at the post office, and if medications are discovered they are forwarded to us,” Carlos Dias Lopes of the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency told The Los Angeles Times. “We have a duty to send any illegal substances for destruction.”

Demand for access to abortion has skyrocketed amid the Zika outbreak, as more than 4,000 women have given birth to babies affected by microcephaly, the birth defect thought to be caused by Zika that affects the size of a baby’s skull. “I’m thinking of doing the worst,” one woman wrote to Women on Web when her pills failed to arrive. “I really need help. I can no longer eat, and I cry all the time.”

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.  

Related:

Study finds “grave outcomes” for fetuses in pregnant women with Zika virus

WHO: Pregnant women should avoid travel to Zika-afflicted areas

CDC investigating 14 reports of sexual transmission of the Zika virus

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