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Genetic Linkage

Revising Textbook Coverage of Prenatal Diagnosis in an Anti-choice Climate

I've become a stalker.

 

When I recently stopped at an intersection behind a car with bumper stickers "Make Abortion Criminal Again" and "Worship GOD, not GOV," I followed the offensive vehicle into the parking lot of Target. Out emerged an older white man who took no notice of me approaching, phone camera out.

 

I'm willing to bet that he never had to carry to term, in his body, a fetus known to have a severe chromosomal anomaly.

 

I'd bet that he was never forced to remain pregnant, give birth, and then watch the newborn die.

 

Yet the man in the Target lot, if those bumper stickers were indeed his, feels empowered to take the choice to abort this tragedy from women he doesn't know.

 

But I thank him for the lead-in to this blog post.

 

What's To Become of Prenatal Diagnosis?

 

I'm revising my human genetics textbook for a 13th edition, and I've hit a roadblock at this sentence:

 

"If a test reveals that a fetus has a serious medical condition, the genetic counselor discusses possible outcomes, treatment plans, and the option of ending the pregnancy."

 

I describe those prenatal tests in depth earlier, focusing on how testing fetal DNA in a woman's circulation is replacing the riskier amniocentesis and CVS. But I now have to add "possible" before "option."

 

To continue reading, go to my DNA Science blog at Public Library of Science, where this post first appeared.

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