National Partnership for Women & Families

Senate Puts Nation Closer to Realizing the Promise of Genetic Testing,Women's Health Leader Says, Urging House to ...

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — April 24, 2008 —
“The promise of genetic research finally may be realized in this country now that the Senate has approved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, because the House has agreed to consider the Senate bill early next week and President Bush has vowed to sign it into law.  This day is most welcome and long overdue.

At long last, we are on the brink of establishing federal standards that will protect the privacy of genetic information, and prohibit discrimination in both the workplace and insurance based on genetic test results. 

Genetic testing holds enormous promise.  It can detect a predisposition to numerous diseases including diabetes and certain cancers, where prevention can be effective.  But until now, Americans have been forced to choose between being tested to learn whether they need the preventive care that can improve their health or even save their lives, or avoiding the test for fear that their genetic information will cost them the jobs and insurance they need.

Now that the Senate has passed this legislation, and the House is poised to do the same, Americans should be able to realize the full benefits of genetic testing very soon.  President Bush should waste no time in signing this bill into law.”

Contact

Cindy Romero (202) 986-2600 cromero@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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