Prenatal tests for autism are coming—and so are more abortions

I was in America, following up on my point that pro-life and disability rights people should work together.

Here are a few paragraphs. Go there for the rest:

Having complete knowledge about a medical condition is a good thing, and prenatal screening tests can be good in the sense that they help prepare parents for extra needs their child might have. Unfortunately, we live in what Pope Francis calls a “throwaway culture,” and parents can also use these tests to determine whether or not to abort their children.

This has already been the case with testing for Down syndrome, and the possible development of prenatal tests for autism raises new dangers. As an autistic, I worry that these tests will lead to aborting people like me. I myself would not have been aborted as my mom is fully pro-life, but I feel so sad for others who might have been. In a previous piece for AmericaI proposed that people fighting for disability rights and people fighting against abortion should work together; the introduction of testing for autism reveals another point where collaboration can happen.

I am writing now because a group of neuroanatomists recently presented a paper to the annual Experimental Biology conference in which they suggested that M.R.I. brain scans on fetuses are able to predict diagnoses of autism; specifically, they reported finding a brain region, called the insular lobe, that was much larger for autistic children than for children without autism. Dr. Alpen Ortug, one of the authors, told the journal ZME Science: “Earlier detection means better treatment. Our results suggest that an increased volume of the insular lobe may be a strong prenatal M.R.I. biomarker that could predict the emergence of A.S.D. [Autism Spectrum Disorder] later in life.”

Read the rest over there.

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