Senator Randy Vulakovich today introduced legislation that would ensure that expectant mothers who receive a prenatal diagnosis for Down Syndrome receive the support and education they need to care for and enhance the quality of life for their child.
Senate Bill 1339, also known as the Down Syndrome Prenatal Education Act, sets requirements for health care professionals and the state Department of Health to provide essential guidance for those expectant mothers.
“I call this bill ‘Chloe’s Law’ after an incredible child with Down Syndrome,” said Senator Vulakovich, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. “My legislation would simply require health care practitioners to provide complete information to women who receive a prenatal diagnosis for Down Syndrome so that they are better informed with regard to the positive outcomes of giving birth to a special child such as Chloe.”
Chloe Kondrich, a child with Down Syndrome and Senator Vulakovich’s inspiration for the bill, said, “I am very intelligent and sophisticated and I was made perfect.”
Her father, Kurt Kondrich, added, “Chloe’s Law will ensure that families who are expecting a child like my daughter Chloe will receive factual, supportive information about the services and resources that are available and they will be able to see that children with Down Syndrome possess many abilities and are a priceless gift to their families and communities.”
Under SB 1339, the Department of Health would make available up-to-date, evidence-based information about Down Syndrome that has been reviewed by medical experts and national Down Syndrome organizations. The information would include physical, developmental, educational and psychosocial outcomes; life expectancy; clinical course; intellectual and functional development; treatment options.
It would also include contact information for First Call programs, support services, hotlines specific to Down Syndrome, relevant resource centers, clearinghouses and national and local Down Syndrome organizations.
Similar legislation has been signed into law in Kentucky and Massachusetts.
SB 1339 is supported by Pennsylvania’s Physician General, the Arc of Pennsylvania, the Central PA Down Syndrome Awareness Group, the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh, the Eastern PA Down Syndrome Center, the Montgomery County Down Syndrome Interest Group, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation USA, and Parent to Parent of PA.