Before Zika: The Virus That Helped Legalize Abortion in the US

August 9, 2016

(CNN) – Rubella, or German measles, hit American soil with a vengeance between 1963 and 1965. An estimated 12.5 million people were infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though symptoms were generally minor — a fever and rash — pregnant women who contracted the virus faced a harsh reality. If their babies survived, there was a chance they would be born with profound birth defects, including blindness, deafness, heart abnormalities and serious intellectual disabilities.