Written Notice for False-Positive Prenatal Testing Results

Published on May 9th, 2022

Memorandum of Support

Re: S8286 by Skoufis / A9413 by Griffin

Requires a written notice on the occurrence of a false-positive result for any condition tested during a prenatal test

The above-referenced bill would require written notice be provided to pregnant women regarding the possibility of false-positive prenatal testing results. The New York State Catholic Conference wholeheartedly supports this legislation.

Recently, The New York Times has reported in detail on the high number of false-positive results provided by many prenatal tests. Anecdotally, we’ve long heard stories of babies being born healthy despite a devastating prenatal diagnosis. To have this phenomenon confirmed through research and data is extremely disturbing. It is horrifying to imagine wanted babies being destroyed in the womb based on false diagnoses.

Pregnancy is a stressful and difficult thing. A terminal or debilitating prenatal diagnosis can seem overwhelming, unmanageable, and impossible for already anxious expectant parents. Doctors even go so far as to suggest termination as the best option in the face of some positive results. Sadly, the sheer terror of it all leads many women to end their pregnancies.

Women need support, care, and resources to safely carry their babies to term. They should never be pushed to life-altering, destructive decisions by misleading or incorrect prenatal test results. Requiring written notice about the possibility of false-positives, and the rates at which they occur, will ensure women have the information and knowledge necessary to make the best possible decisions for themselves and their babies. We urge you to support this critically important measure.