On a wing and a prayer

Brazil’s health minister has warned that the country is “badly losing” the battle against the Aedes aegypti mosquito blamed for spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to microcephaly, a rare birth defect that sees babies born with unusually small heads.

Given that it is currently struggling to contain the outbreak, it is particularly unfortunate that Brazil has the highest Catholic population of any country in the world.

An estimated sixty-four percent of the Brazilian population, around 130 million people, consists of self-declared Catholics obliged to heed the Church’s insistence that deliberate acts of contraception are gravely sinful.

Poor women, often black, have so far been disproportionately affected by the microcephaly spike and there are many socio-economic factors at play here. There are, for example, high levels of sexual violence in Brazil and many women don’t even have access to birth control. Furthermore, abortion is illegal.

Nevertheless, the Catholic Church unquestionably has a role to play. No one would expect the Church to advocate the use of condoms on every conceivable occasion, but, in the circumstances, until such time as a vaccine is made available, surely it is incumbent on the Pope to step up and relax the Church’s stance on contraception? In Brazil. Right now.

About thespeedofdark

David Winship has written an unauthorised autobiography and several critically disdained literary tomes. His work is frequently compared with Steinbeck, Orwell and Hemingway, but unfortunately Mike Steinbeck, Daisy Orwell and Howard Hemingway were all terrible writers. He has been totally overlooked for the most prestigious literary awards worldwide, which is a shame as most of the words are spelled correctly. In fact, his books contain material that ranks with the finest literary works in history: all the right letters are there, just not necessarily in the right order.

Dave’s blog (The Speed Of Dark Blog) is part of his crusade for truth and justice and universal entitlement to free real ale. It may well be that his whole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

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