New Autism Test Worries Pro-Life Advocates

News: US News
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by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 25, 2019   

May lead to abortion for prenatal autism diagnoses

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HOUSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new, groundbreaking prenatal test may be able to determine if a child has autism, but pro-life advocates are worried it will lead to autistic children being aborted.

The pilot results of a new test announced on July 18 at the Dup15q Alliance Scientific Symposium in Houston, Texas, are claiming autism in an unborn child may be able to be detected with a blood test.

Arthur Beaudet, lead investigator, professor and chair of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said, "This test will revolutionize prenatal diagnosis," adding, "We have to have a noninvasive test that's as good as the invasive test."

There are other prenatal tests looking for genetic markers that may denote a child has autism, including a test patented by LabCorp last year. And like other tests, it's more invasive and requires the harvesting of human tissue from an unborn child in the womb. 

Blood tests are currently used to help determine if unborn children might have other fetal abnormalities, like Down syndrome, but until now they have not been sensitive enough to search for possible autism markers in DNA.

The new test allows fetal DNA to be harvested from the mother's blood, allowing researchers to sequence the child's genetic sequence and find large deletions or duplications of DNA which are linked to autism.

Beaudet's team conducted two pilot studies, the results of which agreed with the more invasive forms of DNA testing.

Science should be used as a tool, not a blunt instrument to bludgeon and shame parents into killing what popular culture deems 'imperfect.'

Pro-life advocates are worried that autistic people will be seen as a so-called problem.

Deana Fisher, a mother with two autistic sons, wrote, "Can we all be honest, and acknowledge that when they say 'fetal genetic testing,' we all know what the likely outcome will be the second a nervous parent is given the results of a genetic test that says 'your child has an increased risk of developing autism'?" 

She adds, "Science should be used as a tool, not a blunt instrument to bludgeon and shame parents into killing what popular culture deems 'imperfect.'"

A CBS report claimed in 2017 that Iceland had "eradicated" Down syndrome, but in reality, nearly 100% of preborn children diagnosed with it were aborted.

Eugenic abortions are becoming more common in the West with tragic results for children testing positive for Down syndrome.

For children diagnosed with Down syndrom in the womb, Denmark aborted 98%, the United Kingdom 90%, France 77% — and the United States likely has similarly high rates.

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