Fifty-eight percent of the Brazilians believe that pregnant women infected by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and therefore by the Zika virus, should not have the right to terminate the pregnancy. This is the result of the Datafolha research published on 29 February, in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo: 32% of respondents still defends the right to the interruption of pregnancy, while 10% of them prefers not to express an opinion.
In pregnant women, the Zika virus has been associated with an increased incidence of malformations in the newborn baby's brain and prompted the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency.
In Brazil, says the report, since October 2014, 5,640 cases of microcephaly have been declared, 4,107 of which are being studied. There are 583 confirmed cases, and 90% of these are located in the northeastern part of the country.
The Zika epidemic and the consequent microcephaly in fetuses have rekindled the debate on abortion in Brazil, where it is permitted only in cases that put the mother at risk, in cases of rape and anencephaly (absence of a brain), but otherwise punishable by up to three years in prison.