Thailand Legalizing Abortion for Zika Cases
Buddhist dominated Thailand has loosened its restrictions on abortion when it comes to babies that may have microcephaly caused by the Zika virus. Abortion is illegal in Thailand except for cases dealing with rape or when the health or well being of the mother is at stake and even then only up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
The new law will see it allowable to terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks when microcephaly is diagnosed in the child which leads to the signature small head deformity as well as other serious effects. It is very difficult to diagnose the abnormality it babies however ultrasounds can be used later into the pregnancy hence the doubling of the allowable time for abortions in such cases.
Nearly 400 cases of Zika have been diagnosed in both Thailand and Singapore so local as well as traveling tourist expectant mothers should take extreme care when in the regions. Thailand may begin testing all pregnant women for Zika in the near future.
Although the new law will legalize abortions for Zika cases, doctors may decline to perform the procedure as 95% of the population practices Buddhism which sees abortion as a sin.