Impact of NIPS on abortion? It’s complicated

PIRC collaborator Subhashini Chandrasekharan is quoted in an article released today on GenomeWeb: “With Rapid Uptake of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening, Many Question Its Impact on Abortion” (free registration required to access). GenomeWeb reporter Monica Heger notes that noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS), “one of the fastest adopted clinical tests,” is now becoming a routinized part of prenatal care worldwide. Many abortion opponents have assumed this new technology will result in a huge increase in abortions, but the data are not nearly so clear. Chandrasekharan says,

“The immediate jump from yes we’ll be able to detect more genetic abnormalities prenatally, and, yes, therefore more people will terminate the pregnancy, that’s where I have doubts.”

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Life with Turner syndrome: Education and support are essential

by Stephanie Meredith

In a recent article, “POV: My Life with Turner Syndrome (TS): Genetic screening does not necessarily predict the future,” Caitlin Bawn writes about her experience growing up with TS and her concerns about screening that can detect the condition prenatally. She worries that pregnant women undergoing prenatal screening will not receive information about the spectrum of outcomes for girls with TS as they are making reproductive decisions. While Bawn’s story focuses on Turner syndrome, she touches on a key issue with prenatal screening for a range of conditions as increasing numbers of expectant parents and providers are put in the position of figuring out what a diagnosis means.

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