Mosquitos carrying the Zika virus are expected to arrive in the United States as early as this summer, notes The Daily Beast. The disease is known to cause birth defects when contracted by pregnant women. Texas is expected to be among the states most affected by the virus. Given that Zika mainly affects pregnant women, health advocates are concerned that Texas has dramatically scaled back support for women’s health care in recent years.
That support has been removed by Republican lawmakers because many of the outlets that provide health care to women also provide abortion services. On top of that, the GOP leadership in Texas has refused to expand Medicaid, making it difficult for many women in Texas to receive medical care.
These decisions, advocates say, are hurting the state’s ability to educate women about Zika’s risks, and to minimize the Virus’s impact.