US Senate Moves to Protect “Most Vulnerable”

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 25, 2008 ( A U.S. bishops’ aide praised the Senate’s vote in favor of a measure that would prohibit discrimination based on genetic information.

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which bars employers and health insurers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their own or their family members’ genetic information.

Deirdre McQuade, of the U.S. episcopal conference’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, lauded the vote: “Today the Senate took a stand for some of the most vulnerable members of the human family, whether born, yet to be born, or placed for adoption. No one should be discriminated against on the basis of genetic testing.”

McQuade noted that the Pro-Life Secretariat particularly welcomed the fact that the bill’s protection against discrimination “will cover the families of unborn children with adverse prenatal diagnoses, as well as children being adopted.”

This “will empower families to welcome vulnerable children with special needs into their lives,” she added.

The House of Representatives could approve the bill next week, and President George Bush is expected to sign it into law.