The Catholic Spirit: MCC ‘very proud’ of passage of prenatal diagnosis bill

(May 22, 2015, The Catholic Spirit, Joe Towalski)

Other legislation supported by Minnesota Catholic Conference didn’t fare as well during 2015 state legislative session

Thanks to the work of the Minnesota Catholic Conference and a coalition of disability advocacy groups, expectant parents whose babies are diagnosed with certain prenatal conditions will receive accurate and supportive information from local and national organizations.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the Prenatal Trisomy Diagnosis Awareness Act on May 14. The legislation covers diagnoses for three chromosomal conditions: Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). It was supported by groups such as Prenatal Partners for Life, Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota and The Arc of Minnesota.

“We’re very proud of that legislation — the seventh of its kind in the country, but the first to include requirements for passing on information to expectant parents about Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the state’s bishops. “It had bipartisan support and passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate.”

“Oftentimes, people are told information, even by doctors, about short life expectancies and low-quality of life in these cases,” Adkins said at the start of the session explaining the need for such legislation. “But, in fact, these lives can be beautiful lives that are a great gift to families and others. We want to make sure that people who receive these diagnoses aren’t overly discouraged, that they have the accurate information they need to deal with these difficult situations.”


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