If newborn DNA is sequenced into a numerical format, the government will soon have and own each child’s complete genetic code allowing them to make all manner of inferences about future medical conditions of not only that child, but future offspring of that child. According to Francis Collins, the current head of the National Institutes of Health, “whether you like it or not, a complete sequencing of newborns is not far away.”
While it is not unusual for newborn DNA, obtained either via neonatal methods or soon after birth, to be tested for potential genetic problems, several states are now storing the DNA and even turning it over for research purposes. A February report in the Texas Tribune revealed that the Texas Department of State Health Services was giving hundreds of infant blood spots to the Armed Forces DNA identification lab who is in the process of building a national mitochondrial DNA registry.
Nudged by The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007, the government is offering federal funds to states that collect, store and share your babies DNA, usually obtained without parental knowledge or consent.
Government ownership of your child’s DNA enables State Health Departments and future legislatures to use that DNA as they see fit. And, according to Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care, the only reason to store newborn DNA long-term is to conduct genetic research. “Every American child will grow into an adult whose DNA is owned and accessible to the government for research, law enforcement, predictive analysis, and social and genetic engineering.”
With the passage of ObamaCare and the far-left’s push for a government single payer health care system, the federal government could implement policies that use the genetic screening to force abortions to reduce the birth of children with costly medical conditions, or perhaps, children of the wrong color, or social status.
While some states are considering ways to prevent the abuse of this genetic information, the best action, according to Brase, “would be to take newborn screening out of state health departments. Newborn screening should be a hospital procedure, not a government procedure. If states never get the blood, they would never be able to store it, use it, or share it.”
Government storage of your child’s DNA and genetic tests without parental consent violates genetic privacy rights, parental rights, patient’s rights, property rights and Fourth Amendment rights. It is up to parents to pressure their local state legislature to pass laws requiring informed consent before it’s too late.
But it is not just children facing the threat of ending up in the DNA registry. The left demands a DNA database for the “good” of mankind, of course. While DNA is regularly collected from those that commit serious crimes, some states are passing laws requiring DNA collection from those charged with minor low level crimes. It may well just be a matter of time before the government requires DNA to get a driver’s license or marriage license in order to build a national DNA registry of everyone in the country.
In a recent Supreme Court decision that essentially legalized the national DNA database, Justice Scalia wrote “it may be wise, as the Court obviously believes, to make the Leviathan all-seeing, so that he may protect us all the better. The proud men who wrote the charter of our liberties would not have been so eager to open their mouths for royal inspection.”