Bipartisan inspired by work of Brian Skotko
The American pro-life lobby scored a rare victory in Washington recently with the passage of Kennedy-Brownback disability diagnosis bill. It was good news for parents of Down syndrome children. “I am thrilled beyond measure,” said Madeleine Will, director of the Policy Center of the National Down Syndrome Society.
The rare bipartisan initiative brought together disability activists and opponents of abortion. It was inspired by landmark research by a Harvard Medical School student, Brian Skotko. In two papers published in 2005, he showed that most doctors gave a very negative impression when informing parents that their child might have a disability. Studies show that about 90% of women pregnant with a Down syndrome child choose to abort it.
“The majority of the parents said that the information they got from their physicians was inaccurate, incomplete and sometimes insensitive,” Skotko said. “It was in no way consistent with the advancements and possibilities and support that we’ve seen.”
The Kennedy-Brownback Act is designed to establish databases of information and registries to give parents better access to support, adoption resources and accurate information about Down syndrome and other genetic conditions such as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis and dwarfism, both before and after birth. ~ St Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov 9; Disability News, Sept 25
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