The Catholic church outlaws contraception as it believes that forms of birth control are associated with promiscuity and adultery. But with the rise of Zika virus,a mosquito-borne virus which is most prominent in Latin American countries, causes symptoms including fever, rash, and joint pain. But the virus is more threatening to pregnant women as there is growing evidence "that Zika virus may cause a catastrophic birth defect called microcephaly, which often results in mental retardation" (Brazil Blames Zika). 

These high concerns have caused Latin American countries that are predominately Roman Catholic to rethink their views on contraception. For instance, in Brazil where abortion is illegal under most circumstances, the country has urged women not to get pregnant which entails the use of contraception though it goes against the church's beliefs (Cohen). 

It is uncertain how the church will respond but Pope Francis, "who has taken a more merciful stance on many social issues from abortion to homosexuality and is himself from South America, where Zika has taken such a heavy toll" (Cohen) may go against Catholic teachings to better control the virus. 

 

To read more on the zika virus and the Catholic Church, visit [http://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/brazil-blames-virus-birth-defects-newborns-n496986] or [http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/03/health/zika-tests-catholic-position-on-birth-control/]. 

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