When in human history has an epidemic become so alarming that a nation feels compelled to urge its people not to have children for two years?
Grappling with a mosquito-borne virus linked to brain damage in infants, El Salvador is doing just that, advising all women in the country not to get pregnant until 2018 — the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass that, to many here, only illustrates their government’s desperation.
They quote several experts as saying they've never heard of such a thing. The article doesn't even mention that the demographic effects would be significant. Messing with reproduction will have unintended consequences.
Others are more conspiracy-minded. Veronica Velásquez suggested that the government’s recommendation to avoid having children was really an effort to stem population growth. Already, El Salvador is so densely populated that leaders might want to thin the ranks, Ms. Velásquez argued.
As conspiracy theories go, this is not so unreasonable, and actually popped into my head as I started reading the article. Regardless, this is a huge decision for a government to make.