NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Feb 15, 1978
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(Studio) Special report is on amniocentesis, medical procedure for checking on unborn fetus, and controversy surrounding it.
REPORTER: David Brinkley
(No location given) [Mrs. PARTRY - says no one knows except family what heartbreak is involved in having child with genetic defects. Couldn't knowingly bring another such child into world.] Is noted Mrs. Partry's daughter Heidi has Downes Syndrome and daughter Jennifer is normal; Mrs. Partry underwent amniocentesis prior to Jennifer's birth. Amniocentesis process described. [Harvard Med. School spokesperson Dr. Aubrey MILUNSKY - notes advantages of process and that more children are born than are fetuses aborted with method.] Antiabortion groups' campaign against this process, because of possibility of abortion as outcome of tests, detailed. [National Right to Life Committee president Dr. Mildred JEFFERSON - says society that can spend so much on science and weapons should be willing to spend to protect life.] [Saint Joseph's Seminary member Father William SMITH - doesn't think killing solves problem.] Right to Life Committee campaign to ask public to withhold donations from orgs. paying for amniocentesis and genetic cnsling. programs noted. [MAN - announces report that March of Dimes is phasing out genetic service and cnsling. programs.] March of Dimes confirmation of this reported; plans for use of funds from program cited. [March of Dimes spokesperson Dr. Arthur SALISBURY - regrets Right to Life conclusion that group's pressure forced closing of ctrs., but such isn't case. Details closings as policy matter.] Concerns of physicians and scientists that anti-abortion pressure did have role in foundation's decision and with regard to future of other cnsling. programs outlined. [NYU Med. School spokesperson Dr. Rody COX - says patients will suffer with cuts in such programs.] Case of Barbara Gilman and use of amniocentesis prior to births of children Joshua and Becky noted; is noted Gilmans' 1st child, Candice, was born with hereditary genetic disorder causing early death. Mrs. Gilman's concerns that some couples may decide not to have children without amniocentesis noted. [Mrs. GILMAN - describes Candice's symptoms; wouldn't have completed pregnancy if she'd known of child's condition. Feels parents should have opportunity and choice to have healthy, normal children.]
REPORTER: Gerald Harrington
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