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.
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.
In and of itself, prenatal testing is value neutral and simply provides information—indeed, the diagnosis of Down syndrome is typically accompanied by shock because it, too, is unexpected. Further, reducing the cost of prenatal testing through public policies is not necessarily problematic. But if prenatal testing is to be offered at no-cost, why is there not a corresponding mandate to provide all of the information necessary for an expectant mother to make an informed decision?
To say that a genetic condition should be prevented, with the only means of that prevention being abortion, is morally objectionable. It hearkens back to the eugenics atrocities of the last century. To further have that goal stated by a federal regulation is grossly objectionable and, one would hope, unexpected by our elected officials, as it very likely was when the regulations were passed.source:
Supreme Court Unexpectedly Upholds Regulatory Elimination of Down Syndrome July 12, 2012 By Amy Julia Becker
Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsbergsource:
The Place of Women on the Court By EMILY BAZELON Published: July 7, 2009