Supreme Court Unexpectedly Upheld Regulatory Elimination of Down Syndrome

I meant to post this earlier, but so much has been going on!  But I wanted to tell you about this, which made me so mad!  Mark Leach, a Kentucky lawyer whose daughter has Down syndrome, recently wrote a must-read article on Thin Places.  It’s about how the Supreme Court’s recent ruling regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would impact the lives of people:

A common reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was that it was “unexpected.” The Chief Justice reportedly sided with the dissenters to overturn the entire law, only to then switch and author the majority opinion. But buried within the PPACA regulations is something that for many also should be unexpected. If it’s not addressed, it does not matter what else PPACA does for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Pursuant to PPACA’s provision for no-cost preventive care services for women, insurance policies will be required to provide no-cost prenatal genetic testing starting August 1, 2012. A preventive treatment exists in response to many non-genetic prenatal tests. For instance, when my wife was expecting our daughter, she was prenatally tested for gestational diabetes and was able to monitor her condition so that it did not negatively impact the pregnancy. This is not the case, however, for prenatal testing for Down syndrome, the condition our daughter has had since at or near her conception.

There is no treatment pre- or post-natally for the extra 21st-chromosomal material that causes Down syndrome. Currently, an estimated 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome. Characterizing prenatal testing for Down syndrome as “preventive care” expresses a policy that fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome should be prevented from being born. Indeed, a member of the Court’s majority, Justice Ginsberg, previously stated in an interview that one purpose of abortion is to reduce “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Population reduction is exactly what happens where there is a public policy for prenatal genetic testing…

To say that a genetic condition should be prevented, with the only means of that prevention being abortion, is morally objectionable.

Remember when my mom warned about “Death Panels?”  Well, here we are.

When I think about people aborting their babies just because they might be like my brother, it makes me so angry and sad at once.  Please read Mark Leach’s article and pray that the PPACA regulation’s requirement for no-cost prenatal genetic testing for conditions that cannot be treated be rescinded.

P.S. This was my 100th post!!!  Who’s read all of them?

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  • Stephanie

    I’ve read them all! So sad to hear about these babies. :(

  • mistah charley, ph.d.

    i think every mother should have the same opportunity that sarah had to have tests done and be knowledgeable about the child’s condition and so on

  • Dennis McHale

    Excellent Post Bristol. Your are inspiring a new generation, like your your mom has inspired so many. May you be inspired to write hundreds more.

  • MiddleRoader

    Good site, Wendy. Something else to think about is that genetic testing of couples before they get pregnant can predict the likelihood their childeren will have certain diseases (such as Tay-Sachs, cystic fibosis, some forms of musular dystophy), so the couple can decide whether they want to get pregnant, or adopt, or not have kids. I know some would say this is playing God, but if those diseases ran in my family, I would want myself and my husband to get tested, and if we both had the genetic marker, I would choose to adopt. Other people might make different choices, but I think they should have the option to know the chances. Not sure if pre-pregnancy testing is part of PPACA (might be part of the contraception coverage). These are all such difficult questions and choices….

  • MotherBushIsBack

    Interesting how Bristol asks for liberals point of view and then deletes any comments she (Nancy) disagrees with or doesn’t like. This is now officially just a FAN Club. Enjoy hearing people tell you how great you are. I hope you don’t get too much sand in your ears.

    • Charlotte

      Funny, I would think if she deleted all the comments she just disagreed with she would have deleted yours.

  • Cindy Barclay

    Hi Bristol,
    I was moved to tears and action as I read your article. I’ve long wanted to connect with your family as we are blessed with Bethany- just turned 12, with downs syndrome. She is the best treasure I never knew our family needed. Yes! We need her! We are stronger, more compassionate, and see life clearer than ever before. She defines what’s important- LOVE. It’s also so fun to see her achieve and break down the low expectations held by many. She excels at dancing, loves to worship, texts her five siblings every day, has friends and her best subject is reading! Blessings to you and your whole family!!!! Keep speaking out- maybe some will be saved.

    • CJ

      Oh, Cindy….now I’m the one who’s tearing up at what YOU wrote! You just summed it all up so simply and so beautifully! <3
      Children with DS DO teach us so many things…IMPORTANT and BEAUTIFUL things.
      They are AWESOME! They help us to see life in the way I think GOD wishes we could see and live it. They have a precious message to bring to ALL of us, if only "the world" would take the time to see and understand this! They are gifts of AMAZING LOVE and SWEETNESS unencumbered by all the garbage that plagues the rest of us on a daily basis. These children are rays of sunshine throughout their lives and have lifted many clouds in my own, just by spending some time with them at work. If they have abundantly BLESSED my life in our limited time together, I can only imagine how much more they BLESS their families who are privilleged to share even more time together.
      Justice Ginsberg has gotten her beloved DEATH PANELS. There she arrogantly sits on her authoritative throne, imbued with the power to define who "contaminates" HER PLANET and who does not. I believe the label applied by those in her elitist Progressive snake pit is "Useless Eaters" as is clearly engraved on the Georgia Guidestones, the Creed of the New World Order.
      She, too, was created by GOD with the potential to be a blessing to this world. But, she has chosen to abide by her own laws, NOT HIS…….and will be judged accordingly. May GOD have mercy on her soul and lead her to repentence through Christ , our LORD. AMEN

  • Leticia Velasquez

    Thank you Bristol and Mark Leach for pointing out that the Obama Administration is not interested in paying for my daughter’s health care. She is ten and has Down syndrome. By pushing universal prenatal testing, Obamacare is trying to eliminate unborn babies with Down syndrome. They are counting 0n the high abortion rate of such babies making sure that almost none slip through the net. This is eugenics, pure and simple. Read Michelle Buckman’s novel “The Death Panels” to see what a future looks like when we allow this type of health care system to dictate the tone of our society.

    • Timbit

      Yes! Yes! YES! Obummer is pushing this and wants abortion! He knows that Christians don’t get abortions and it is a way to get rid of future Christians! The left love abortion. They use it as birth control. Liberal women who believe in abortion rights give birth to babies who are the spawn of the devil. Homosexual mass murdering pedophiles are devil spawn born from liberal abortion loving women. Evil politicians like HUSSEIN Obummer and BAWNY FWANK are devil spawn from liberal, abortion loving mothers. God gives the most vunerable to good Christian conservative women, because he knows they will be cared for.

      • Courtney

        I’m sorry but seriously? No one “loves” abortion, people who want to keep it legal do not love it and they would rather it not happen (and many try to educate people on PREVENTIVE measures so it doesn’t happen, ie sex ed that actually teaches more than DON’T HAVE SEX)
        Homosexuals (which in no way should be compared to pedophiles or mass murderers) are not only born to liberal women, I’ve known many Christian families who (gasp) have had children who were not heterosexual or cis-gender.

        Anywho, in regards to the blog post: I agree, it should not be used as a preventative test, though if I was pregnant I would want to know everything possible in advance so I could make the arrangements necessarily to care for said child, so I’d very much want to know if they would have down syndrome BEFORE I gave birth.

    • DJ

      Did you read the article? It has nothing to do with Obama not paying for your kids healthcare.

  • MsAmericanPatriot

    If they do this for Down Syndrome. What next? Autism. I am autistic. I was raised I should fear the government. Now I am living in fear of it. That isn’t right at all.

  • Jackie

    ACOG began recommending pre-natal testing of ALL pregnant women, to determine if the baby has T21, a few years ago. As testing has become increasingly less invasive, less likely to cause miscarriage, the professional recommendations are to test all women. The March of Dimes has, more or less, the same view. Women should know, however, that they do not need to agree to any testing or screening while pregnant. Though I was over 35, I did not participate in any screenings or diagnostics beyond a GD test, and a sonogram.

    • Alyson

      After having a child born with Down syndrome, I chose the non-invasive blood test at 12 weeks with the NTS. It put me at extremely high likelihood of having a child with trisomy 13/18 – a “not-compatible with life” diagnosis (actually it is compatible with life – just ask the moms). So instead of having another home birth, we had her born in the hospital. Turns out she did not have trisomy 13/18 and was perfectly healthy. Next baby we declined genetic counseling – just wanted an ultrasound at 20 weeks to see if we should have a hospital birth or a home birth. Our perinatologist REFUSED to be our doctor unless we sat through another genetic counseling session. We already had our son with trisomy 21 (DS), we’d lived through a false positive of trisomy 13/18 with our daughter, and yet the doctor still felt we needed to be re-educated (we went through the genetic counseling appointment when I was pregnant with my daughter previously) on our “options” and what kinds of problems our baby might have. Obviously, I went elsewhere.

  • Surie

    “Death panels”??? Really??? I thought it was BS the first time your mother brought it up – very interesting to see you parrot the same. Scare tactics and misinformation aside – it’s MY decision to receive testing on MY foetus in utero. And IF that child is NOT healthy or has some sort of disease or genetic mutation, it is MY CHOICE to have an abortion (which I *absolutely* would have). I wouldn’t want to bring a disabled child into this world – I don’t think they’re a “blessing” – and I think that people who go around saying they are “blessed” are full of it. They’ve been given a bad hand, and are FORCED to deal with a disabled child. Sadly, most use religion and “god” to justify the existence of that child – when they could’ve been tested, gotten informed, and made a choice.

    Then again, I’m just a highly-educated, liberal, atheist who believes in making informed, intelligent choices. I’m also a great believer in having the correct information before trying to “educate” the general public. And I doubt that this comment will even be allowed on the blog. We’ll see.

    • Cindy Barclay

      You’re right in saying it’s your choice- but your decision to selectively kill based on genetics is faulty thinking- all of our genetics are damaged in some way and at any time you could develop Alzheimers or suffer a trauma which would render you “less than” perfect- where does the killing stop? Downs syndrome? if they discover a gene for Autism? if you don’t like the way the child is going to look or it’s sex? For a highly educated person- you have become judge and juror of whose life has “value”. I understand that as an atheist, you don’t have respect for life but as a Christian, I am compelled by God’s love to love all of His creation. (btw- I’m highly educated too :) )

    • Marlie

      Surie, people have disabled children everyday and think they are a blessing. You seem to be forcing your own agenda on these families.

    • Becky

      My dear you are HELL bound if you do not repent and change your ways. You believe that you are GOD and you have the right to take another life because it does not suit your fancy. Well dearie ONE day you will stand before GOD almight. Yes YOU will stand before him no matter how hard you try to pretend he does not exist or you know better than he does. You WILL be told your name is NOT written in the book of life and you WILL be cast into the lake of fire. How do I know this? The Holy BIBLE tells me so. You should take the time to read it and then this vile demonic language would not be leaving your lips. I pray one day you find the only way to eternal life before it is too late. PS No amount of education will get you into Heaven.

    • Agkcrbs

      Well, Surie, if you’re not just pulling one on us, I guess that pretty much makes you a bad human being. How does it feel? Fulfilling? …Or as empty as you sound? You can gloat about being “highly educated”, but even if you had shown any signs of it, it would only in the same morally broken sense that that Batman shooter was. Fat lot of good his overloaded, misfiring neurons did him. At least you should be grateful that most of us are more respectful of your meager right to exist than you seem to be of those you look down on. Corrupt or not, you too are in the image of God, and he’s seen fit to leave you here until whenever your sudden car crash, heart blockage, or overdose eases the world of you. So there may well remain some possibility of benefit in your life, though it’s hazy to the rest of us. Do try to make better use of your short, probably inconsequential time here than advocating such self-worshipping soullessness as that the burdensome handicapped, generally the most innocent specimens of our race, should be freely aborted.

    • CJ

      You may want to watch this.
      Stay with it……you’ll understand why I sent it to you.

    • Trina

      thank you for your comment. i was absolutely SHOCKED & DISMAYED by what I read here. Pre-natal Genetic testing is just that: A TEST! just because the result comes back positive for a T21 mutation doesnt mean you have an “automatic abortion”! THINK, YOU FOOLS! ALL of these tests are supposed to be preventative: FOR THOSE THINGS THAT CAN BE PREVENTED! I was over age 35 when having BOTH of my children and GLADLY had Pre-Natal Genetic Testing! It told me my chances for having issues with my birth, embryo/fetus and family issues! My husband and I discussed at length what we would do if there were any genetic issues. Since it IS a CHOICE and NOT a REQUIREMENT, and I was fortunate not to have any of the issues they test for, I didnt have to make a CHOICE…. both my children were born early but healthy. Please, before you assume that the president (of which this article is NOT about) is ordering you to have an abortion just because your baby has Downs Syndrome, remember, ABORTION IS A CHOICE, NOT A REQUIREMENT.

      • Trina


    • Kate Maloney

      Surie – It’s a good thing for you that your parents didn’t share the same view.