Poll: More Americans support late-term abortion if Zika harms fetus

In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Solange Ferreira bathes her son Jose Wesley in a bucket at their house in Poco Fundo, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Ferreira says her son enjoys being in the water, she places him in the bucket several times a day to calm him. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new poll shows most Americans approve of late-term abortion if a woman’s fetus is threatened by the Zika virus.

According to the new STAT-Harvard poll, six in 10 respondents thought women should have the right to end a pregnancy after 24 weeks if testing shows a possibility the fetus has a birth defect caused by the mother’s Zika infection.

Microcephaly, the condition that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads,is typically diagnosed past the 24th week of pregnancy. Virginia is one of the many states that limit abortions after 20 weeks.

“Sometimes it’s a little closer to late pregnancy that you can see the sequelae on ultrasound,” said Ronald Ramus, M.D.

By the time some women learn what Zika has done to the fetuses they are carrying, their access to legal abortion could be blocked. Chris Freund with the Family Foundation said he opposes late-term abortion, even for Zika-infected women.


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