This Essay situates a crucial component of the public health response to Zika - the effort to develop a safe and effective vaccine - within the broader literature. It does so in an effort to highlight the need to revisit the relationship between law and pregnancy - not only in the areas legal scholars have prioritized so far, but also in the context of routine and emergency maternal health, which has heretofore been largely assumed to be governed by straightforward norms and practices based on medical evidence and physician ethics. In fact, whereas the current literature tends to assume or explicitly assert that the relationship between law and pregnancy is most troubled in the contexts of reproductive choice, the workplace, or criminal prosecution - i.e. predictable events and moments that may be assessed at any given time - it has paid far less attention to emergency contexts like H1N1, Ebola, or Zika, each of which uniquely affects or affected pregnant women. In so doing, the literature suggests that social constructions regulating pregnancy in the workplace or the prosecutor's office also regulate the deliberations of public health officials, physicians, and the medical advice communicated from them.
Sam F. Halabi,
Zika, Pregnancy, and the Law, 70 Arkansas Law Review 707
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/706