Friday, September 26, 2008

Bill Passed House & Senate - Prenatally & Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Edward M.
Kennedy (D-MA) celebrated Senate passage of the Pre-natally and Post-
natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, legislation which would
require that families who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or
any other condition, pre-natally or up until a year after birth, be
given up-to-date information about the nature of the condition and
connection with support services and networks that could offer

"I am very pleased that the legislation co-sponsored by Sen.
Kennedy and me passed the Senate," said Brownback. "This bill will
greatly benefit expecting parents who receive the sometimes
overwhelming news that their unborn child may be born with a
disability. This legislation will provide parents with current and
reliable information about the many options available for caring for
children with disabilities."

The Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act
would provide for the expansion and further development of a
national clearinghouse on information for parents of children with
disabilities, so that the clearinghouse would be better equipped to
assist parents whose children have recently been pre- or post-
natally diagnosed. The bill also provides for the expansion and
further development of national and local peer-support programs.
The bill also calls for the creation of a national registry of
families willing to adopt children with pre- or post-natally
diagnosed conditions.

"One of the hardest moments in the life of an expectant mother is
when she receives news that she is going to have a child with
special needs," said Melissa Wagoner, spokeswoman for Senator
Kennedy. "Access to the best support and information about the
condition, and the quality of life for a child born with that
condition, can make all the difference to a woman trying to make an
informed and difficult decision. Senator Kennedy believes this kind
of support is a vital element to strengthening a true culture of
life in America."

Currently, 90 percent of children pre-natally diagnosed with Down
syndrome are aborted. That percentage is similar for children pre-
natally diagnosed with other conditions such as spina bifida, cystic
fibrosis and dwarfism.

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