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Zika, abortion and health emergencies: a review of contemporary debates

The Zika outbreak provides pertinent case study for considering the impact of health emergencies on abortion decision-making and/or for positioning abortion in global health security debates.

This paper provides a baseline of contemporary debates taking place in the intersection of two key health policy areas, and seeks to understand how health emergency preparedness frameworks and the broader global health security infrastructure is prepared to respond to future crises which implicate sexual and reproductive rights. Our paper suggests there are three key themes that emerge from the literature; 1) the lack of consideration of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in outbreak response 2) structural inequalities permeate the landscape of health emergencies, epitomised by Zika, and 3) the need for rights based approaches to health.

Global health security planning and response should specifically include programmatic activity for SRH provision during health emergencies.

Wenham, C., Arevalo, A., Coast, E. et al. Zika, abortion and health emergencies: a review of contemporary debatesGlobal Health 15, 49 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-019-0489-3

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