March of Dimes Award to Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is a Political Ploy

Minneapolis/Saint Paul - Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC) dismisses today’s presentation of the March of Dimes national newborn screening award to Governor Tim Pawlenty as pure politics.


"This award is merely an attempt to shore up the Governor’s support for the Health Department’s plans to legally terminate the genetic privacy and DNA property rights of all newborn citizens during the 2008 legislative session," says Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

"If the Governor is a champion for the March of Dimes, it is because he has thus far refused to support informed opt-in parent consent for government-imposed newborn genetic testing, dismantlement of the state’s baby DNA warehouse, and health department compliance with current state law requiring explicit parent consent prior to retaining baby DNA or providing it to genetic researchers," says Brase.

"CCHC does not believe these activities deserve any kind of an award," she adds

During the 2006 Minnesota legislative session, the March of Dimes testified against a CCHC proposal to require informed opt-in parent consent for newborn genetic testing (“Parents Right to Say No Act"). The March of Dimes has also testified for several years in support of compulsory government registration and ongoing surveillance of children with birth defects. As a result, the Minnesota Birth Defects Surveillance System began in 2005.

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935