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MDSC Responds to Boston Globe Story on Prenatal Testing

We were both heartened and disheartened to see Beth Daley's incredible piece in the Globe on Sunday, "Oversold prenatal tests spur some to choose abortions." The reporter's investigation into an all-too-opaque industry shed light on the challenges that expectant parents face in our technologically advanced age. New non-invasive prenatal tests are changing the way Down syndrome is diagnosed, which poses difficult ethical questions - to say nothing about the dubious accuracy of the tests themselves, which the authors sheds light on. 

False or not, getting a diagnosis of Down syndrome (or another disability) can be a challenging experience for expectant parents. Families need to have the most updated, accurate information about what a life with Down syndrome might look like. Every individual with Down syndrome, of course is different, but one thing is clear - life with Down syndrome today is much different (and better) than it was years or decades ago.

Making sure that parents have this information and helping them navigate the post-diagnosis roller coaster is where the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress has been and continues to be on the cutting edge. Our First Call Program provides non-biased, non-judgmental supports for families starting whenever they get the diagnosis (pre- or post-natal). Our team of First Call professionals and volunteers across the state are there to help parents make the best decision - whatever that may be - for their own family. 

We are proud that our First Call Program has been a national model, replicated in many states across the country and beyond U.S. borders. These are complex times, but families in Massachusetts should take some comfort in the support and guidance available through the MDSC and our other partner organizations. Anyone needing this critical information can contact us at 781-221-0024 or firstcall@mdsc.org

Maureen Gallagher
MDSC Executive Director 

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