GALVESTON, TX—Amid a spate of public health warnings this week regarding the infectious disease’s devastating effects on fetal development, the Zika virus reportedly joined a lack of paid maternity leave and unaffordable child care as reasons why local woman Shannon Kemp is afraid of becoming pregnant. “I was going to hold off getting pregnant for a few years anyway out of fear that my company might let me go when they find out, but this whole Zika scare certainly doesn’t help things either,” said the 26-year-old, explaining that the threat of giving birth to a child with an underdeveloped brain was just one of a litany of reasons behind her dread of becoming pregnant, including the likelihood of being passed over for promotions, the lower salaries received by mothers, the rising cost of prenatal care, the rising cost of postnatal care, the increased difficulty in being hired should she want or need to switch jobs, and the social stigma associated with breastfeeding in public. “Honestly, this really isn’t even the thing that worries me most about getting pregnant. It’s definitely good to be aware of, but even if they find a cure for Zika tomorrow, it’s not like I can afford to get pregnant under my current insurance plan.” Kemp added that it’s a good thing she still has limited access to expensive contraception.

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