AP: “pandora’s box” of prenatal DNA testing

Photo credit:  Mark Cummins on Flickr

A new AP story worries that new, advanced prenatal DNA testing techniques could open up a “pandora’s box”:

Imagine being pregnant and taking a simple blood test that lays bare the DNA of your fetus. And suppose that DNA could reveal not only medical conditions like Down syndrome, but also things like eye color and height. And the risk for developing depression or Alzheimer’s disease. And the chances of being gay.

So far that’s still science fiction. But scientists have been taking some baby steps in that direction. And some ethics experts say it’s time to start talking now about what that could mean for parents and society.


“This really changes the experience of what it will be like to be pregnant and have a child,” said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, Calif. “I keep coming up with the word, game-changer.”

She wonders if parents would withhold their commitment to a pregnancy until test results show a fetus is “good enough” to be born. And what, she asks, is good enough?

The problem is, abortion has already opened up a Pandora’s Box of big adult people playing God with the lives of little pre-born people, subjectively and arbitrarily deciding who is and who is not “good enough to be born.” 90% of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. And Planned Parenthood & co.’s relentless scare-mongering about “all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy” paints the “unplanned pregnancy” as something dangerous–“unplanned” unborn children are apparently not “good enough” to be born, either, and Planned Parenthood is happy to exterminate them. Right out of the Margaret Sanger playbook:

“[W]e are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all.”


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