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As an obstetrician and gynecologist in Washington state, I am acutely aware of the public-health crisis we face with the Zika virus [“As Zika epidemic worsens, Congress takes a vacation,” Opinion, Aug. 10]. It is time to herald the need for equal access to comprehensive reproductive care.

We must educate people that Zika can be transmitted via mosquitoes, sexual contact, during pregnancy and through exchange of bodily fluids, such as saliva or blood. Infection prevention through the proper use of condoms is critical to protecting men, women and families.

We must empower women to prevent pregnancy during this health crisis using highly effective methods of contraception, including implants and intrauterine devices. Health providers must be able to deliver these methods regardless of their patients’ incomes or ZIP code. We must also fight for continued access to safe and legal abortion care. In the unfortunate scenario of a Zika-affected pregnancy, women and their families should have the ability to exercise their constitutional right to have a safe, legal abortion.

The health of our country depends on the government providing support and additional funding to clinics in order for women and their families to remain safe. This is not the first virus highlighting the need for access to comprehensive reproductive health services — and likely not the last.

Sara Pentlicky, Seattle