Via The Atlantic: The Importance of Contraception to the Zika Fight. Excerpt:
While mosquito control is still the most crucial way to slow this outbreak, there is some room for contraception to make a difference, both in preventing sexual transmission and in helping women delay pregnancy or avoid unintended pregnancies (and thus reduce the number of babies born with birth defects), whether they get it from a partner or a mosquito. For the best protection, experts say people need both condoms, to keep from spreading Zika sexually, and effective birth control, so even if a woman gets it anyway, there’s no fetus to worry about.
However, the Zika funding bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives only to be rejected by the Senate included an explicit provision that none of the $1.1 billion it included could be put toward Planned Parenthood, and provided no other money for contraception.
“I think it's amazing for people to have been told the number-one thing they should and could do is delay pregnancy but we're going to give you no support or no means for doing that,” says Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president and chief experience officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“The contraceptive issue should not be avoided,” Zahn adds.
In the United States, 45 percent of all pregnancies are unintended. In Puerto Rico, where Zika is hitting hard, that rate is 65 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that couples trying to get pregnant wait six months to do so if a man gets infected and has symptoms, and wait eight weeks if a woman has symptoms.
For people who’ve been traveling to areas with Zika, but didn’t get symptoms, the agency still recommends waiting eight weeks before trying to get pregnant. But if it’s accidental, well, those recommendations might not have been on the couple’s radar.