We Won! – for now… DNA Warehousing still a threat!

May 19, 2009

From :
Twila Brase
Citizens’ Council on Health Care

Good Morning!

It’s 1:15 a.m. and I want to report the good news. We won! The gavel came down at midnight, the Minnesota legislature adjourned in the nick of time, and the Baby DNA warehousing bill to repeal genetic privacy and DNA ownership rights at birth, never came up for a vote!

This is your success!

Your citizen petitions, the many people who attended the legislative hearings, your emails and phone calls to legislators, the Sue Jeffers show on KTLK, CCHC’s new Protect Baby DNA cards, the Glenn Beck Program, Reps. Tom Emmer and Mary Liz Holberg, Sen. David Hann’s great questions during the Senate hearing, the “Do NOT Repeal Genetic Privacy” stickers we all wore, my opportunity to speak at the Tea Party, our meeting with Governor Pawlenty, the CCHC report on newborn screening and eugenics, the filing of the lawsuit against the Department, local TV news coverage (esp. WCCO-TV), the prayers of many people, and the unexpected informational hearing on genetic privacy led to this success.

Governor Pawlenty helped too. His budgeting ultimatum and declaration of no special session changed everything. The focus became the budget, health care cuts, and taxes. Assuming he meant it, there will not be a special session and our lives, liberty, property—and the genetic privacy law—are safe for another eight months.

The House and Senate Baby DNA bills (HF1341/SF1478), remain “alive” until next session because the legislature functions in a 2-year cycle. Plenty will be done before then on our side and on theirs…which could change entirely how the battle over who owns our genetic code looks when the state legislature returns on February 4, 2010.

We’ll keep you apprised. There will be several events that you may want to participate in between now and then as we work to secure dismantling of the State and Mayo Clinic’s DNA warehouses, require the Health Department to follow the law (informed consent requirements) and secure DNA property rights in law.

But this morning, I and the members of the CCHC Board of Directors want to thank you for helping us preserve and protect genetic privacy rights, informed written consent rights, human research subject rights, parent rights and DNA property rights for all Minnesotans!

Thank you!

Twila Brase
Citizens’ Council on Health Care

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