A number of Roman Catholic bishops in Latin America, where the dangerous Zika virus is spreading, have said that despite health warnings, Catholics should refuse to use contraceptives.
"Contraceptives are not a solution," said Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, an auxiliary bishop in Brazil, according to Gospel Herald. "There is not a single change in the Church's position."
Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control have said that contraceptives need to be used by infected patients in order to prevent the spread of Zika, which might be linked to hundreds of babies being born with deformed brains in Brazil and neighboring countries. more >>
Roman Catholic Church leaders in Latin American countries dealing with the outbreak of the Zika virus are pushing back against groups that are promoting abortion for women who are pregnant.
The Zika virus, which is transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitos, was once confined to parts of Africa and Asia, but has now spread to 21 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean. Symptoms from the virus are suspected to cause neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, a brain deformity, but medical researchers have yet to confirm the link.
Auxiliary Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner of the Catholic Church in Brazil, a nation with hundreds of confirmed cases of Zika, denounced a recent call from the United Nations to loosen abortion restrictions to allow women who've contracted the virus to abort their pregnancies in the first, second or third trimesters. more >>
A discussion on relaxing abortion bans in Latin America has been reignited as officials at the World Health Organization rang the alarm Thursday on the Zika virus "spreading explosively" across the Americas with possible links to microcephaly.
Microcephaly, a disease that causes babies to be born with abnormally small brains has hit a number of Latin American countries, The Christian Post reported Monday, where Zika, now suspected to be spread by the common mosquito, is raging.
"A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes has not yet been established, but is strongly suspected," World Health Organization chief Dr. Margaret Chan said at a press conference where she said the level of alarm over the virus has become "extremely high." more >>
The International Olympic Committee has adopted new guidelines to allow transgender athletes to take part in this year's games in Rio de Janeiro without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
"To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights," the IOC says in its new guidelines.
"It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition," the IOC adds. "Nothing in these guidelines is intended to undermine in any way the requirement to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA International Standards." more >>
First discovered in Uganda in 1947, the Zika virus has recently been linked to babies born with abnormally tiny heads in Brazil, and what's worse is the virus is rapidly advancing towards other regions across the world, threatening other pregnant mothers and people who are potentially exposed to the risks.
Zika virus is transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. The mosquito that carries dengue fever, chikungunya virus, and yellow fever bites a person infected with Zika then transfers the viruses to other people. While there have been small outbreaks in Africa, the virus started spreading in 2007 to the South Pacific.
The Zika scare started in May 2015 when Brazil reported its first case. Multiple health and science outlets report that almost 3,000 babies were born with microcephaly in the country. Microcephaly is a condition that could eventually lead to brain damage, and while the connection between microcephaly and Zika virus is still a blur to scientists and researchers, the Brazilian government believes that the virus is responsible for the abnormal births. more >>
A former Brazilian feminist turned pro-life activist has apologized to Christians for kissing a woman on top of a cross during a topless protest in front of a Rio De Janeiro church in 2014 and has expressed a desire to return to church for the first time since she was 14.
Sara Fernanda Giromin, who was previously known by the alias "Sara Winter," founded the feminist group Femen Brazil in 2012 and helped lead countless topless feminist protests in the country that called for LGBT rights and the legalization of elective abortion, which is still illegal in Brazil.
One of the protests organized by Giromin included a rally in front of the Church of Our Lady of Candelária located in Rio De Janeiro in January of 2014. During the protest, a mostly naked Giromin was photographed kissing another mostly naked woman while they were laying on top of a cross that was laid on the ground in front of the church. The photo was shared widely on social media. more >>