With DNA privacy concerns still swirling around the case of the Golden State Killer, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is adding to the clamor around genetic privacy by conducting DNA testing on unidentified fetal remains in order to identify the mother, The Verge reports.
Earlier this week workers at a treatment plant in Georgia found a mass of fetal remains in a piece of equipment, and a city coroner identified the remains as roughly 20 weeks into pregnancy. That placed the remains right on the edge of Georgia's abortion law, which outlaws abortions after 20 weeks, The Verge says. The coroner sent the remains to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for a full autopsy and DNA testing to see if the mother could be identified and to see if details about why her pregnancy failed could be revealed. The coroner insists that there are no intentions to criminalize the mother, but experts say the case could have significance for how police investigate abortion cases nationwide, The Verge notes.
Genetic evidence has not played a central role in the prosecution of abortion cases so far, the article adds, but cases like this could change that.