The recent outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the wider Caribbean and beyond has thrust the issue of abortion into the spotlight once again. This is as a result of the latest guidance provided by the Centres for Disease Control, which has implicated the Zika virus as a cause of multiple foetal abnormalities, including microcephaly. Whereas the controversy surrounding abortion has always been about choice, and the competing rights of the mother versus the rights of the unborn foetus, the issue of foetal anomalies adds a new dimension to the debate. What are the ethicolegal implications of a mother seeking an abortion for reasons of foetal abnormality? This article will explore those implications, but it is beyond its remit to comment on the ethics of abortion per se. (Throughout this article I use the term abortion to mean a termination of pregnancy and not in its unfortunate criminal context).
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