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Effects on Fetal Screening

Changes to abortion laws in the US could, in turn, affect screening for fatal congenital conditions, Wired writes.

Earlier this month, Politico reported on a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court decision. If this draft is finalized — the ruling is expected in June — Wired notes that more than two dozen states are expected limit or ban abortion access. As a harbinger, it notes that Texas and Oklahoma, for instance, have banned abortion after six weeks.

But as Wired writes, most genetic testing occurs alongside ultrasounds at about 10 to 13 weeks. While such testing can find non-lethal genetic conditions, it adds that testing can also find conditions like trisomy 13 or 18 that can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or even death shortly after birth. In cases of fatal fetal diagnoses, Wired says most parents opt for abortion.

While some of these laws that would go into effect if Roe were struck down have exceptions to allow abortion in cases of rape or prevent death, it says only a few have exceptions for fatal congenital conditions and half-a-dozen states do not allow abortions for genetic conditions.