Fetal MRI utilizes Half-Fourier-acquisition-single-shot-turbo-spin-echo (HASTE) for rapid T2-weighted imaging to mitigate motion. However, specific-absorption-rate (SAR) constraints from the refocusing pulse train reduce acquisition efficiency. Variable refocusing flip angle (VFA) acquisitions can improve efficiency, but may suffer from low signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Here, we propose a VFA scheme and incorporate a rapid, low-SAR calibration scan. We simulate and prospectively evaluate the SNR and SAR properties of the VFA scheme and utilize the calibration scan for LORAKS parallel imaging and retrospective evaluation of wave-encoded simultaneous-multislice (SMS). VFA prospectively reduces acquisition time by ~2.3-2.5x and incorporating SMS could further improve efficiency.