The Impact of the Zika epidemic on women's reproductive intentions and behaviors in Brazil

Leticia J. Marteleto, Abigail Weitzman, Raquel Zanatta Coutinho, Sandra Valongueiro Alves
Women in low SES groups in Recife more commonly recounted improving their contraceptive behaviors because of high exposure to the risk of contracting the Zika virus. In contrast, high SES women in both cities reported continuing their nearly perfect contraceptive use (use that resulted in few or no unintended pregnancies) as they had before the Zika outbreak. Low SES women in both cities reported inconsistent contraceptive use and an inability to get a desired sterilization. Low SES women in
more » ... h cities described more limited bargaining power with sexual partners on condom use compared to high SES women. Low SES women noted two primary barriers to obtaining contraceptives from public clinics: multiple violations of their medical privacy and limited access to contraceptive methods. Both low and high SES women in Recife felt a tangible risk of Zika because of their greater media and personal exposure to individuals affected by the virus. Women in both cities and both SES groups described obtaining an abortion to avoid giving birth to a Zika-infected child. On the other hand, high SES women had better access to safe abortion and could wait longer than low SES women before deciding to get an abortion. Moreover, the high SES women were more likely to have a safe abortion if they chose one.
doi:10.15781/t2tb0zb20 fatcat:dxtl5alys5fdljvnasvcnsyvha