This would mean that of the 500,000 women that got the virus, roughly 2% of these women were pregnant while getting the virus, which equates to 10,000 women, resulting in 4,000 cases of microcephaly. This would be a 40% chance of microcephaly when a woman catches the virus during pregnancy. That is absurdly high for a virus that is starting to become (or already is) an epidemic.
There's many assumptions in the calculation and I'm sure the medical profession has much better numbers. As I said it's a back of the envelope. But even if the chances are 20% or 10%, that is still extremely high and worrying. The recommendation not to get pregnant in countries where the virus is active suddenly makes sense.
That still comes with a big asterisk since 80% cases of the disease in the general population are asymptomatic. But(!) pregnant women are at increased risk for many diseases.
 who carried to term
If it's something like "only a risk during the second trimester", then that 28% chance becomes "100% during second trimester".
How is one going to implement such a policy ? one can't make people stop having sex and AFAIK El Salvador is very religious (no abortions...) and poor (no contraceptives ...). This epidemic concerns the whole world IMHO and we should put a maximum of resources into finding a cure or a vaccine (if none exist yet) ASAP. Now i'm even hearing that this virus might be a STD ... scary.
You're asking how they will implement a policy to recommend something? Probably with some advertising and public service announcements I guess.
Why does that puzzle you so much?
On the other hand that means the opposite situation for those born in 2018-year, which also is not normal. (Overpopulated classes some 7 years later, at the very least.)
So, yeah. This year starts pretty crazy.
In reality man should also be educated and provided with lots of condoms.
What they absolutely aren't okay with is finding out the child has microcephaly, and aborting as a result.
It's my own personal read on canon law that giving birth in such an environment, to the point where the civil authorities are saying "please don't", would present an unacceptable risk to the child, and thus be immoral, and thus be a sin.
Don't expect a sudden 180 on birth control. The advice for people will be to abstain.
Which is a well-proven failed strategy.
Why does sex seem to get a pass for "you can't control your biological impulses" when other drives don't?
- We're driven to eat as well, and have a growing problem with obesity. At least, when you eat too much, you're only harming yourself. Yet, we (the society "we") tut at the obese, in some cases make fun of them. "Why can't you control yourself?" we say. "Put down the fork!" says another.
- We have a drive to be social, yet humans are pretty well controlled when it comes to expressing that drive at the wrong times in the wrong places.
- It's expected to be protective of your family, but in another time, that would have meant meting out lethal punishment to an interloper. Now, doing that lands you a prison sentence.
Without moralizing on any of this:
The drive to reproduce, we somehow don't expect people to stop screwing when it's likely that doing so will have really awful consequences for a perfectly innocent life. Either now, in the case of a virus causing congenital defects, or in other cases, such as not being able to support a child. We throw our hands up, say "welp, abstience doesn't work, knock yourselves out", and try to work around the problem with birth control (something which still has a <100% chance of stopping unwanted births)
Why is this? Surrender to the implacable force of human nature doesn't seem to be the answer, seeing as how we've at least partially tamed most other impulses, or at least refused to give up.
WRT socializing, we definitely have norms about controlling the drive to socialize, but I don't know many people who advocate complete isolation.
Similarly with sex. What you characterize as a "you can't control biological impulses" position usually specifically targets abstinence - that is not a fight you can win. But those same people are often totally in favor of more limited control of the sex drive. Laws against rape (statutory or otherwise), norms against romances on the workplace or military service where a power imbalance exists, norms against just plain moving too fast with someone new - these are all very broadly supported.
Teens: Don't have sex till later, you don't want babies yet.
Women in this country: Don't have sex till later, you don't want babies with birth defects.
Church: Don't have sex till later (marriage), you'll offend God
So what is the substantial difference between the socially accepted "don't have sex in the military, wait till you're out" and the quickly becoming socially unaccepted "don't have sex for this set period of time"? You just did it right here, characterizing it as a fight you can't win.
It seems... strange, to expect responsibility and prioritization of biological goals from people at some times and not others.
Let's just take the first example - teens who do not want to get pregnant.
I'm not sure what you find strange about this. Teenagers will feel the desire to have sex, but they (and/or their families) will be aware that having a baby at a young age can limit your freedom later in life. Thus, teenagers are told to either wait until they are older to have sex, or be sure to use contraception.
> It seems... strange, to expect responsibility and prioritization of biological goals from people at some times and not others.
Control over our base biological goals is a key part of what makes us civilised.
That point being, that sexual activity in the armed forces is still controlled and sometimes that drive cannot be satisfied for relatively long periods, and this is commonly accepted.
But the kinds and degrees of control that work successfully are totally different from the kinds that you're suggesting. The "seizing on an ambiguity" is actually seizing on the fact that the policies you claim support abstinence's effectiveness are not policies of abstinence.
This is really, really simple. Are you not supposed to have sexual contact for X period of time? If yes, you are abstinent for that period. The period varies, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, but the definition still applies.
If X period is repeating on and off on semi-regular schedule, then it's not an abstinence policy. That's just scheduling sex. If it's a single continuous period, then it might be an abstinence policy.
Or in other words, it needs to be semi permanent.
Claiming that sex is the biological drive that gets a pass compared to all others is completely detached from reality.
And the "advocating abstinence doesn't work" position isn't something that comes about out of nowhere and bias that sex is special, its the result of studies of how well that messaging works
Manifestly, empirically, abstinence advocacy is generally ineffective.
That same conclusion does not seem to apply to eating, socializing, and other base drives.
That isn't really the problem. The problem is more complicated than that. It includes:
Delusion: Modern peoples think birth control is more reliable than it really is.
Guilt: I have seen studies that indicate that certain populations of women have a high incidence of pregnancy because they feel planning for sex makes them a slut, but just getting swept away with emotion makes it "love" and that is somehow OK. So, birth control is proof that "I am a slut."
Religion: Some religions (Catholic church) forbid use if birth control.
I am sure I could add to that list, but I have other things I need to do.
This is what I mean - we can obviously prioritize our needs and put a lid on biological drives when social needs demand for, pretty much everything else. Why is it so strange to expect that same restraint when it comes to sex?
You probably have ancestors who could control their eating, but you have no ancestors who successfully controlled their sex drive. Most of our DNA probably comes from the most sexually active/driven humans that ever existed. Humans who could control it or were not as sexually driven didn't shape our DNA as much.
A woman can get raped and end up pregnant. She can have zero interest in sex and still reproduce.
"Evolution" favors those who survive long enough to reproduce. Merely being born is not sufficient. If you have 20 kids and none of them live to adulthood, your genes die out. There is a correlation (that seems to run two ways) between having fewer kids and having them survive. Cultures with high child mortality also have high birth rates. So fucking like rabbits does not by itself ensure survival.
Generally speaking, the human race places a high value on a faithful woman. A woman who is faithful is more likely to get support from the father of her children, thus her children are more likely to thrive. Most likely, "bastard" is a swear word or insult because, historically, having a child out of wedlock tended to doom both mother and child to extreme poverty.
When such a greater good demands we abstain and we don't, we can justly be called selfish. It's something one needs to work on and struggle. Instead of waffling between prudery and licentiousness, one should work on one's sexual prudence (called the virtue of chastity, but the word, I fear, is uncool and infected with cooties, say the cool kids). It involves endurance, mindfulness, and possibly suffering.
Robin Williams once joked that god gave man two heads but just enough blood to operate one at a time. There's something to that.
> At least, when you eat too much, you're only harming yourself.
That's not true, just as "if you smoke / drink you're only harming yourself". Provided you have a family you're putting them at risk of your early death. You're both passing down more likely obesity when pregnant (2015 study, but don't have time to google it now) and teaching kids the behaviour that likely leads to obesity for them too.
So yeah, you're actually harming your family not just yourself.
No contraceptive is perfect, and the rates vary between methods. Note that some of the methods in the table can be combined (and often are), thus lowering the overall chance of pregnancy.
ars's comment seems a bit extreme; while condoms don't perfectly prevent pregnancy, they are certainly quite effective at reducing the chance of it.
For a situation like this, with (according to geertj's calculations) 40% chance of severe birth defect, that's far too much.
Condoms are not the solution here - in fact I think they do more harm than good because people think they work (like you did), while they are not sufficiently effective.
When used consistently and correctly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy and are the only form of birth control that also can prevent STIs.3,7,8 This is why it's important to follow directions for correct use.
Somebody is lying.
The point is that if you have an entire population of people who say that their primary method of contraception is male condom, you should expect an unplanned pregnancy rate closer to ~18% per year than 2% per year.
So in essence a condom works if you use it and if you don't use it and get pregnant it is not very effective. WTF? At this point I'm cursing for wasting my time.
"Perfect" use increases effectiveness, but even if you aren't just derpy about it, they can still fail.
I routinely see this assumption that birth control works perfectly if you just use it, and that simply isn't true.