This morning Dr. David Prentice, vice president and research director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, will testify before the Indiana Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services in support of SB 334 – legislation to prohibit prenatal discrimination by banning abortions based on sex selection or genetic abnormality. The Charlotte Lozier Institute is the research and education arm of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
Prentice has over three decades of experience in life sciences including stem cells, cloning, cell biology, genetics, biotechnology, bioethics, as well as life-related research and policy making. Prentice is an Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics at the John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America and is a founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics.
Below is an excerpt from Prentice’s testimony, which can be read in full here:
“While older texts say that around 90 percent of children born with Trisomy 18 don’t live as long as a year, this is simply outdated information. For example, Bella Santorum, daughter of former Sen. Rick Santorum, will be 7 years old this May. Mrs. Santorum says that “Bella’s a little girl with a big message, that every person matters. She’s here for a reason.”
“Indeed, more and more children with genetic conditions like Bella and Kathleen Rose are surviving, and thriving. A recent study by doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published in the journal Pediatrics, points out the improvements, noting: “Despite the conventional understanding of these syndromes as lethal, a substantial number of children are living longer than one year and undergoing medical and surgical procedures as part of their treatment.”
“Contrast the prevalent attitude about Down syndrome that leads to a lethal diagnosis, with the recent facts about increased life span, health, learning, and especially satisfaction for those with Down syndrome and their families. A recent study by Skotko et al. found that 99 percent of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives, 99 percent of parents said they love their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent of brothers/sisters, ages 9-11, said they love their sibling.
“Medical science has also improved significantly not only in terms of surgeries to alleviate some of the physical problems associated with Down syndrome, but also in potential pharmaceutical treatments. Bradford notes several clinical trials, all begun within the last five years, with drugs that are hoped will improve cognition for individuals affected by this condition.”
Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.