by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Members of Congress and leading pro-life groups are worried about a bill that could be used to coerce women to have abortions and make adoptive families terminate an adoption process. They warn the measure could lead to discrimination against individuals and families on the basis of the genetic information.
The House Education and Labor Committee will be considering H.R. 493, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act on Wednesday.
Pro-life advocates warn that the bill could lead to discrimination against individuals and families on the basis of the genetic information of preimplantation or prenatal genetic testing or genetic testing on an adoptive child before the adoption is completed.
Pro-life lawmakers are hoping to get language included in the bill to close the loophole and, if that’s not successful, they plan to offer an amendment today to fix the problem.
Leading organizations such as the Family Research Council and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are lobbying members of the committee to adopt the changes.
They say that if this loophole is not closed, women who choose to carry their child to term despite tests that show a genetic predisposition to particular ailments could be discriminated against by employers and insurance providers.
"Unfortunately, due to a large loophole in the bill’s language, the definition of ‘family member’ does not include children who are ‘to be born’ or those who are in the process of being placed for adoption," says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
"Without an amendment to expand the definition, an insurance company could, on the grounds of a prenatal test, cancel a woman’s insurance — or encourage her to have an abortion because it doesn’t want to pay for the costs of a special needs child with an illness or disability such as Down Syndrome," Perkins added.
When the bill was first introduced in 2005, sponsors said the language would be clarified. However, with the House now poised to act on the legislation, this has not been done.
Related web sites:
Family Research Council – https://www.frc.org