CV NEWS FEED // Congressional Republicans on Friday pressed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to account for its involvement with, and authority over, non-invasive prenatal testing.
Reps. Chip Roy, R-TX, Michelle Fischbach, R-MN, and Sen. Steve Daines, R-MT, led 89 House Members and eight Senators in the bicameral letter of inquiry, which comes after the New York Times reported on the shockingly high false-positive rates of certain prenatal genetic screenings for rare genetic disorders. The tests give false-positives at a rate of 85%, the Times reported.
Positive results in prenatal screenings, including those countless false positives, can be cited by doctors to encourage parents to consider aborting their children.
“Many of these tests have not been approved by the FDA,” according to a press release from the office of Rep. Chip Roy. “The letter seeks responses from the FDA as to its regulatory authority as well any further action it may take regarding the accuracy of these tests.”
“When I first read the troubling New York Times story on noninvasive prenatal testing, I thought of my godson, who was recommended for abortion following a prenatal screening,” said Roy:
He was born perfectly healthy, and to this day, I am thankful that his parents chose life over fear. Many other folks I know have stories like this. These tests have always raised ethical concerns because they can be used for eugenic purposes, and these recent findings about their efficacy only make the problem worse.
“We write to you today because it is our understanding that many of these tests have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and we seek further clarification from the agency on this important matter,” the letter states:
While breakthroughs in genetic sequencing have provided Americans and their health care providers with new tools, there must be proper oversight of these new technologies to protect vulnerable populations like persons with disabilities, pregnant mothers, and their unborn children.
The letter, which can be read in full here, concluded with a series of questions for the FDA: