PARIS:- More than half of young Brazilian women have shunned pregnancy due to Zika, which can cause birth defects, according to research released Friday. In a national survey in June of more than 2,000 literate women in Brazil aged 18 to 39, 56 percent said they had “avoided, or tried to avoid pregnancy” due to the virus, according to an article in the medical journal BMJ. More than a quarter of the women, however, reported that the Zika epidemic - which has swept across the country since mid-2015 - had not discouraged them from trying to have a child. Sixteen percent said they had not been planning to get pregnant in any case.