Before Zika: The virus that helped legalize abortion in the US


By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Updated 6:13 PM ET, Tue August 9, 2016

Story highlights:

More than 50 years before Zika hit the US, the rubella virus affected pregnancies
The rubella, or German measles, epidemic helped legalize abortion in the US

(CNN) More than half a century before the Zika virus grabbed international headlines and photos of newborns with abnormally small heads were splashed across our screens, a different outbreak that affected pregnancies fueled change in the United States.
It was an epidemic that predated the birth of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who made waves this weekend when he said pregnant women infected with the Zika virus should not have the right to an abortion, even if there's a significant chance their babies will be born with microcephaly.

It was an epidemic that helped legalize abortion, the very right Rubio fights against.

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