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Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Act


S.B. 287- Sen. Jim Marleau & H.B. 5065 Rep. Jason Sheppard

Current Status

S.B. 287 was introduced on April 21, 2015 and was referred to the Senate Health Policy committee. H.B. 5065 was introduced on November 5, 2015 and was referred to the House Health Policy committee. H.B. 5065 is similar to S.B. 287 except that it drops the requirement of having a clearinghouse website for the information.

Description

The Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Act is a two part bill that will address both fatal prenatal conditions as well as other conditions that are diagnosed prenatally   This act creates a database of medically accurate information about the prenatally diagnosed conditions, links to support groups, and provides information about intervention services. The physician will refer a woman who has been given a prenatal diagnosis to a website where she can receive medically accurate and up to date information. In the event that the diagnosis is fatal (one in which is would not be surprising if the baby died within one year), the doctor will refer the mother to a perinatal hospice program. S.B. 287 addresses both the fatal and non-fatal conditions by creating a clearinghouse website where experts populate information. H.B. 5065 requires the information to come from the doctor rather than referring the patient to a website.  


Background

Prenatal screening for genetic abnormalities is routinely done as part of standard prenatal care. The tests used to be invasive, expensive and not extremely accurate.  Now however, the tests require only a blood sample and can be done as early as 10 weeks gestation. Too often when a woman is given a prenatal diagnosis, the only information she receives is an abortion referral. Sadly, the majority of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down Syndrome are aborted. This bill is an attempt to help avoid eugenic "search and destroy" abortions.

History

A federal version of the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act was passed by Congress in 2008.  It was signed by President Bush and is currently the law of the land. It is much more limited in its scope as it only addresses instances where children with Down Syndrome are prenatally diagnosed.  Unfortunately, there has never been any money allocated for its implementation.  It was originally introduced by Sam Brownback and Ted Kennedy and enjoyed bi-partisan support.

 

 

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