Laura and Jordan Brown on New Challenges to Abortion Law and What they Mean for Prenatal Diagnostics


0:00 A brief history of abortion regulation in America, and recent changes.

15:02 Jordan Brown discusses events in the world and within NSGC that inspired her to write a piece for Perspectives on being an advocate – and how that piece turned into a DNA Exchange blog post instead. “We have a chance as an organization to make an impact on this issue and we’re not using it.”

21:54 Jordan describes a meeting with the NSGC lobbyists, and their explanation for why abortion is something NSGC doesn’t want to touch with a ten foot pole. “We don’t want to put a target on our back.”

25:22 Genetic counselors' unique perspective on abortion and what they could bring to the table.

30:20. Disability rights and reproductive rights: are they in conflict?

34:14 Jordan’s blog post: do genetic counselors suffer from a conflict-avoidant culture?

38:05 What role can we play as advocates? As we prepare for a Supreme Court decision that will allow states to pass more restrictive laws, what resources could we develop to help counselors working in non-abortion states get access for their patients?

47:48 Is an attack on funding for prenatal testing coming next? Are we headed toward a two-tier system of reproductive medicine?

49:21 Is NSGC reflecting the values of its membership on reproductive rights? Here’s the message Jordan got: “We can tell you are passionate about this issue because you had an abortion.”

51:45 Why abortion is a social justice issue

The legal landscape for abortion is changing rapidly, and in ways that will inevitably affect genetic counseling practice in many states. Joining Laura to discuss the new laws and the role that NSGC can play – if the organization decides that protecting reproductive rights is a priority for its membership-- is Jordan Brown, assistant Director at the genetic counseling program at the Ohio State University, vice chair of the NSGC Public Policy Committee, and a member of the newly formed NSGC Task Force looking at the challenges to reproductive rights. Recently, Jordan documented her concern over the response – or lack thereof – to an issue fundamental to GC practice in a blog post on the DNA Exchange.

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