Bombshell NYTimes Exposé: These Prenatal Tests Are Almost Always Wrong

Faulty prenatal testing exposes faulty human reasoning

A pro-life demonstrator holds up a model of an unborn child outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, DC.
A pro-life demonstrator holds up a model of an unborn child outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, DC. (photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

God’s plan is not always easy, but it is always perfect. Prenatal tests, however, are not perfect. Far from it. I already knew this, having interviewed dozens of parents over the years who were told their child would be severely handicapped, yet they were born healthy. In all cases, abortion was suggested – sometimes aggressively so.   

The parents of Dustin and Grace once wished God would simply take their babies with Down syndrome to heaven quickly. Instead, those children flourished and transformed their families with a love deeper than they had ever known. For those couples, their faith prevented them from choosing abortion. They persevered and experienced the abundant blessings God had planned for them. 

Many of the stories I’ve written about involved babies born completely healthy despite a prenatal diagnosis of a disability. Was the testing wrong? Or was there a miracle? I think both were at play, depending on the story. I regularly came across stories of miraculous healings in unborn babies when I wrote for Women’s World Magazine and later for the Amazing Grace book series.  For instance, Robert Vetter was diagnosed by three ultrasounds with having almost no brain activity. He was expected to be non-responsive at birth, but he astounded the medical team who delivered a robust, healthy boy. Sandy and Sharon Blunt and Gerry and Kathy Smith were told their babies had cephalic disorders, yet they did not, and they grew up healthy and bright.  

Faulty Prenatal Testing 

Aborting a child for being less than perfect is tragic. A new study reveals an even deeper horror regarding the routine practice of prenatal testing. The New York Times  published a  groundbreaking analysis of noninvasive prenatal tests  (NIPTs), finding that testing produces inaccurate results an average of 85% of the time. Shocking! And diabolical. Babies are killed as a result of those errors.  

The newspaper examined multiple studies and asked researchers about five of the most common chromosomal disorder blood tests performed on pregnant mothers during the first trimester. The tests have high success rates for detecting common disorders such as Down syndrome, although with tragic ramifications. Most are denied birth. Approximately 67% of babies with Down syndrome in the U.S. are aborted, although the number could be higher since data is hard to come by. 

The situation is worse in other countries. A CBS News investigation found that nearly 100% of unborn babies in Iceland who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted. In France the rate was 77% in 2015 and 90% in the United Kingdom. 

The rarer genetic conditions are the ones that do not test accurately. The New York Times study reported that five of the tests offered by testing companies are incorrect from 80% to 94% of the time.  A test for Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, which affect only 1 in 20,000 births and which cause seizures and an inability to control food consumption, was wrong 94% of the time.  

False results can lead panicked parents to commit abortion, or at least put them under extreme stress and financial hardship. Follow-up testing can cost thousands of dollars.  

Prenatal Testing Adds up to Big Profits 

Prenatal testing is a major industry. In the U.S., about one-third of pregnant women opt for blood tests to screen for developmental problems. For the Prader-Willi and Angelman syndrome test, why would a doctor use something that is correct only 6% of the time? Just follow the money.

Market Watch estimates that the global non-invasive prenatal testing market is expected to exceed more than $4.5 billion in the U.S. by 2024, and Business Wire predicts that market will reach $8 billion in 2025.  People are getting rich off the testing.

These tests are not regulated by the FDA so there is no government oversight. Out of 14 patients interviewed by the New York Times who had received false positives, eight of them had no idea a false positive was even possible. Five of the patients “recalled that their doctor treated the test results as definitive.”  

The report included instances where mothers terminated their pregnancies based on false positives. One geneticist told of a case in which further testing revealed a healthy baby – but by then, the baby had already been aborted.  


Venerable Jerome Lejeune, Pray for Us 

The knowledge to test for genetic anomalies began with Dr. Jérôme Lejeune, a French pediatrician and a pioneer in genetics who found in 1958 that the genetic cause of Down syndrome is an extra chromosome in pair 21. But he was horrified when the scientific community began advocating for abortion when genetic anomalies were revealed. Seventeen years after his death, he was declared venerable by Pope Francis on Jan. 21, 2021.

In Jérôme Lejeune, A Man of Science and Conscience, we meet a humble, world-renowned scientist who was canceled by his peers for defending life in the womb. The love of his wife and five children – alongside great scientific accomplishments and devotion to Christ and his Catholic faith – guided him. His scientific achievements included investigating more than 30,000 chromosome cases and pioneering work on chromosomal anomalies in cancer. Lejeune received a large number of prestigious awards, but once he angered the scientific community with his bold pro-life message, his many speaking invitations dried up.   

In 1969, before Dr. Lejeune’s acceptance speech for the esteemed Allen Memorial Prize, colleagues warned him not to speak against abortion. He ignored them.

“Taking the logics of eugenics to its conclusion, he then proposed that the National Institute for Health be replaced by a National Institute of Death, the name that would more accurately describe its activity,” author Aude Dugast wrote. No one applauded. “The shock wave would spread, and he knew it. At the age of 43, he had just ruined his career.”

Lejeune died at age 68 from cancer on April 3, 1994, just 33 days after he was named president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Family. His voice and accomplishments live on, however. In 1997, family and colleagues opened the Institut Jérôme Lejeune, which today is recognized as one of Europe’s  leading medical centers specializing in Trisomy 21 and other genetic intellectual disabilities.   

Venerable Jérôme Lejeune, pray for our world’s disability of heart, where life has been devalued and medicine corrupted. Rather than trusting in man, may we trust in God and seek his way. Amen.