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Breakthrough in Pre-Natal Testing - Fetal Safety | News Grab Articles
Breakthrough in Pre-Natal Testing - Fetal Safety PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 January 2013 13:41


There has been a very exciting breakthrough in prenatal testing that is beneficial for the safety of the unborn child and mother.  Scientists from Tufts Medical center and Verinita Health Inc. have discovered a method for diagnosing fetal abnormalities in the womb without an invasive procedure such as amniocentesis.  Verinita has given no indication about when this new procedure will be available.  You may read the article at the link below.

 DNA in Mother’s Blood Can Spot Genetic Mutations in Fetus

 John Lauerman, Bloomberg.com, January 10, 2013.

 From the article:

 Fetal DNA circulating in a pregnant mother’s blood can be used to detect a wide variety of genetic abnormalities before birth, opening the door for noninvasive testing for more conditions.

 By sequencing DNA that escapes into women’s bloodstreams, scientists were able to detect disease-causing mutations that are now normally found by piercing a mother’s womb with a needle to get amniotic fluid, according to a study in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

 Amniocentesis, the standard procedure for prenatally testing for genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, carries a low risk of miscarriage. Obtaining DNA from a blood sample from the mother carries virtually no risk, and may enable doctors to expand their reach and accuracy as they look for genetic disease, said Cynthia Morton, a Harvard Medical School geneticist who performs prenatal tests at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

 “This could largely replace invasive testing,” she said in a telephone interview, “and, no doubt, is an exciting next step in the future of prenatal testing.”

I wrote about the issue in February of last year in defense of Rick Santorum's criticism of Obama's interest in expanding access to pre-natal testing.  Santorum's made his statements to highlight the prevalence of abortion in cases of Down Syndrome which is about 90% of all diagnosed.  This problem is something that has existed since the pro-choice crowd started having legislative success.  Professor Lilly of New Zealand who had discovered the first technique for prenatal diagnosis with the purpose of early treatment and Jerome Lejeune, a pro-life French scientist who discovered the genetic markers for Down Syndrome, saw their discoveries used for the evil purposes of selective abortion.  In 1972, the French were seeking to amend a 1920 law that punished people that performed abortion to allow for abortion of the disabled which at that time Down Syndrome was the only one that could be diagnosed in the womb.  As with much technology, the right use is necessary in order to realize the value of the technology.   Lets hope and pray that this new discovery is an opportunity to turn the emphasis from aborting Down Syndrome children to protecting and loving them.  

Jan 14th:  Jill Stanek has a story on a billboard about the ultimate solution to Downs Syndrome, a parent's love. Here's the billboard:

downs billboard

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