Skip to main content

Viruses and Reproductive Injustice. Zika in Brazil

Un ouvrage d'Ilana Löwy

30 janvier 2024

© Johns Hopkins University Press


2023-chinese-in-france-amid-the-covid-19-pandemicBrazil's Zika outbreak revealed extreme health disparities and reproductive injustice across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Brazil's 2015 Zika outbreak led to severe illnesses for many and the birth of several thousands of children with severe brain damage. Even though mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus affect people across society, these children were born almost exclusively to poor, and usually non-white, women. In Viruses and Reproductive Injustice, Ilana Löwy explores the complicated health disparities and reproductive injustice that led to these cases of congenital Zika syndrome.

Löwy examines the history of the outbreak in Brazil and connects it to broader questions concerning reproductive rights, the medical science behind understanding new pathogens, and the role of international health organizations in battling—or ignoring—public health crises. The explanation behind the strongly skewed distribution of cases among social classes was far from straightforward or obvious during the Zika outbreak. Löwy argues that the disproportionate effect of Zika on births among the poor is primarily a function of dramatic disparities in access to contraception and prenatal care, as well as Brazil's anti-abortion laws: only wealthier women have access to safe abortions. This is a book about the changing meaning of an infectious disease outbreak and a haunting demonstration that an epidemic is both a biological and a political event produced by the complicated entanglement of humans, viruses, and mosquitoes.

Pour en savoir plus

Copyright © 2024 Cermes3

Centre de recherche, médecine, sciences, santé, santé mentale, société
UMR CNRS 8211 - Unité Inserm 988 - EHESS - Université Paris Cité
 Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Campus CNRS

7, rue Guy Môquet - BP 8
94801 Villejuif Cedex

Université Paris Cité

Campus Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Bâtiment Jacob (3ème étage)
45, rue des Saints-Pères
75270 Paris Cedex 06

logo inserm   logo cnrs logo universite parislogo ehess