Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is carefully monitoring the spread of the Zika virus, a growing public health threat which has been shown to have serious implications, especially for expectant mothers and babies.
As our understanding of Zika’s impact, the link to microcephaly, and modes of transmission—including through sexual contact—evolves, access to up-to-date information is essential so people in affected areas are empowered to protect themselves and their families from this virus.
We call upon all governments, public health officials, health care providers, and communities to design and implement response efforts to this outbreak that are underpinned by the rights and dignity of women and girls.
As laid out in FP2020’s Rights and Empowerment Principles for Family Planning, women and girls have the right to determine for themselves if and when they get pregnant, and should have access to quality reproductive health care in order to make informed decisions that are best for them and their individual circumstances.
Furthermore, an effective response should include a holistic approach to sexual and reproductive health, with an emphasis on access to a range of high-quality contraceptive methods, including condoms and emergency contraception.
We urge everyone to stay informed on the latest guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and to discuss their individual circumstances with their health care providers. For information regarding reproductive health, an array of online resources are available in multiple languages, including through the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Profamilia.