Termination of pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis of cleft lip and palate—possible influence on reports of prevalence

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Abstract

Elective termination of pregnancy is prohibited in many countries, even after prenatal diagnosis of oral clefts. Though some studies address registries on termination of pregnancy, many investigations include only livebirths. This may lead to underestimation of the overall occurrence of oral clefts, influencing their reported prevalence. This paper does not intend to discuss if termination of pregnancy because of the presence of an oral cleft is justifiable from ethical, moral, or religious standpoints. Rather, its main goal is to promote a reflection on how the prevalence of oral clefts has been addressed and to rethink the reported differences in prevalence. Authors publishing on the prevalence of oral clefts might indicate the regulations and practices on pregnancy termination in their countries, so that readers may have an idea of what is beyond those findings.

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