The Down Syndrome Community Celebrates an Important Victory Congress Passes the Kennedy-Brownback Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act
New York, NY (September 26, 2008). After three years of advocacy, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1810, the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosis Conditions Awareness Act, during this last week before Congress adjourns . The legislation has been an extremely high priority for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC). These organizations and individuals with Down syndrome and their families across the country are convinced there is a need for physicians and other health professionals to provide parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis with updated, evidenced-based information about Down syndrome.
U.S. Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), original co-sponsors of the bill, came together to pass S. 1810. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on September 23rd and passed the House by a voice vote on September 25th.
The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act ensures that pregnant women receiving a positive prenatal test result and parents receiving a postnatal diagnosis will be more likely to receive up-to-date, scientific information about life expectancy, clinical course, intellectual and functional development, and prenatal and postnatal treatment options . It offers referrals to support services such as hotlines, Web sites, information clearinghouses, adoption registries, and parent support networks and programs specific to Down syndrome and other prenatally diagnosed conditions. The information that is all too often being provided in these situations is out-dated and inaccurate. The treatment options, functional development, opportunities and accomplishments of individuals with Down syndrome have improved dramatically over the years, yet decades old stereotypes still persist. It is critically important for healthcare professionals, families and society to update their knowledge and their perceptions about individuals with Down syndrome.
Birthday Number Twelve
5 weeks ago