Global health initiatives are often pivotal in the advancement of human rights. When addressing global public health issues, international organizations have a responsibility to develop policies and practices that support marginalized groups’ basic human rights. Policies that affect a woman’s reproductive and sexual health can be contradictory of the basic human right if it challenges the moral imperative of creating conditions that allow women to decide freely and responsibly on the number, spacing, and timing of their children or the ethical obligation to ensure equitable access to contraceptive options and safe reproductive service. This can become increasingly more of an issue when conditions arise that affect a woman and her unborn child, such as Zika virus.
Discuss your interpretation of the right to health. Explain how policies that affect a women’s sexual and reproductive health may be impacted by the introduction of a virus. Discuss the policies that countries impacted by Zika have developed around women’s sexual and reproductive health. Do any of these policies violate a woman’s right to health? Discuss if the global public health threat of Zika is severe enough to limit sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms. Conversely, is the threat of Zika-associated fetal anomalies sufficient to change existing restrictive laws and policies?