Mitigating Risks to Pregnant Teens from Zika Virus

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 44 (4):657-659 (2016)
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Zika infection in pregnant women is associated with an elevated probability of giving birth to a child with microcephaly and multiple other disabilities. Public health messaging on Zika prevention has predominantly targeted women who know they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, but not teenage females for whom unintended pregnancy is more likely. Vulnerabilities among this population to reproductive risks associated with Zika are further amplified by restrictive abortion laws in several Zika-impacted states. Key to prevention is enhanced, targeted public health messaging centered on teens nationally and particularly in certain high-risk regions.



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