On January 1, The New York Times published an article, “When They Warn of Rare Disorders, These Prenatal Tests Are Usually Wrong,” followed by a discussion with the author on their popular podcast, The Daily, entitled, “An Investigation into Flawed Prenatal Tests.” As a genetic counselor who runs a digital health company, I have watched from afar the field of prenatal screening transform tremendously. As I listened to the podcast and then read the article on this topic, I was shocked at the inaccuracies in both the podcast and the article at The New York Times.
First, some background. There are many tests that expectant parents and their clinicians can use during pregnancy to determine if the fetus may have a difference in chromosome number (greater or fewer than the typical 46 chromosomes) or structure. Some of these tests are screening tests, and some are diagnostic tests. The key word in this discussion, which was mainly missing from The New York Times pieces, is ‘screening.’
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