BANGKOK – The Ministry of Public Health announced today that it has laid down abortion guidelines for pregnant women, whose unborn baby is found to have microcephaly as a result of a Zika virus infection, to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
A senior medical officer at the Department of Medical Services Tawee Chotpitayasunondh said the ministry advised hospitals to test pregnant women suspected of contracting the Zika virus to confirm whether they have been infected and carry out ultrasound scans to check if the babies have microcephaly.
If the babies are found to have smaller heads as a result of the infection, doctors are required to consult their family members and a psychiatrist regarding an abortion.
According to Thai PBS the Medical Council of Thailand, said an abortion can be carried out on the grounds that delivery could be fatal to the mother or the baby, and the fetus must not be older than 24 weeks.
Since the beginning of this year, 39 pregnant women have come down with the virus. Of this figure, 16 are reportedly carrying babies with microcephaly, while the rest of the unborn babies are healthy.