25 November, 2022

Can birth defects be detected before Georgia Republican’s six week abortion ban?

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Georgia bans abortions after 6 weeks. When can birth defects be detected?

Georgia Supreme Court reinstates ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy.

Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually become the heart around six weeks into a pregnancy. That means most abortions in Georgia are effectively banned at a point before many people know they are pregnant.

The measure was passed by the state Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019. The Georgia Supreme Court did not conduct a hearing before issuing its order, and plaintiffs' attorneys said it denied their request for 24 hours notice. - ABC News

What is a birth defect? How many babies born in the America have birth defects? What are the most common types of birth defects? When can birth defects be identified? What can you do to restore women's freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family?

When birth defects can be identified

Georgia Republicans ban abortions before most birth defects can even be identified.
Data source: Intregisok Health

What is a birth defect?

Birth defects affect 3% of all babies born in the U.S. according to the CDC. Birth defects are abnormal changes that occur during a pregnancy and are present at birth. This is when they are normally detected according to Integrisok Health.

Most birth defects occur during during weeks 5 through 12 when most of a baby’s structural development occurs.

Neural tube defect such as spina bifida would occur around week 6.

Congenital heart defects develop around the week 8.

Limb-related birth defects occur around weeks 4 to 8 when arms, legs, fingers, eyes and ears form.

Prenatal ultrasound scans screen for birth defects comes around weeks 11 to 14.

Common birth defects

Congenital Heart Defects: Occur in about 1 in 110 births and have a variety of causes, including genetic abnormalities or a mistake during fetal development. In such cases the doctor usually discovers the problem when they detect an abnormal heart sound—called a murmur—during a routine examination. Some murmurs are meaningless; further tests are usually required to determine whether your baby's is due to a heart defect. Serious heart defects are outwardly detectable and, if left untreated, can cause congestive heart failure, in which the heart becomes incapable of pumping enough blood to the lungs or other parts of the body.

Clubfoot: Occurs in approximately 1 in 1,000 newborns—affecting boys about twice as often as girls—and includes several kinds of ankle and foot deformities. The exact cause of clubfoot isn't clear, but it's probably a combination of heredity and environmental factors that affect fetal growth.

Spina Bifida: Occurs in about 1 in 2,000 births.  It's caused by a malformation of a neural tube (the embryonic structure that develops into the brain and spine) that prevents the backbone from closing completely during fetal development. Some cases of neural-tube defects can be detected through tests given to the mother during pregnancy. When one is suspected, the baby usually is delivered by cesarean section so specialists can be on hand during and after the birth. Spina bifida ranges in severity from practically harmless to causing leg paralysis and bladder- and bowel-control problems.

Sickle-Cell Disease: Occurs in around 1 in 625 births, mostly affecting Black people and and Hispanic people of Caribbean ancestry. Because of its prevalence, 30 states require that newborns be given the blood test that detects the disorder. -

Republicans impose abortion ban in Georgia and other states denying women their freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family.
Source: CDC

Birth Defects Are Common

Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That means nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year. Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. - CDC

Birth defects affect people in each phase of their life.

Republicans traumatize women

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, abruptly ending access to later abortions that had resumed days earlier. In a one-page order, the justices put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while they consider an appeal. Doctors who had resumed providing abortions after six weeks had to immediately stop. - ABC News

Republicans and a conservative stacked Supreme Court deny women reproductive healthcare and control over their bodies

Georgia Republicans impose abortion ban

"Abortion advocates blasted the order, saying it will traumatize women who must now arrange travel to other states for an abortion or keep their pregnancies. Women waiting for an abortion at providers' offices were turned away, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which represents abortion providers challenging the ban.

“It is outrageous that this extreme law is back in effect, just days after being rightfully blocked,” said Alice Wang, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which also represents plaintiffs in the case. “This legal ping pong is causing chaos for medical providers trying to do their jobs and for patients who are now left frantically searching for the abortion services they need.” - ABC News

Take Away: Vote for Democrats to restore women's freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family.



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