Sunday, December 03, 2023

State’s Secret Blood Letting Of Newborns Exposed

Parental rights are a very hot news topic in today’s day and age. Most of the stories involve schools wanting to keep parents in the dark about their children’s sexuality. Something that shouldn’t even be in question if science, biology and common sense are allowed to enter the conversation. In the case of the schools, you must ask yourself why are the schools trying to shut the parents out? The only logical reason is that they are hiding the fact that it is they themselves that are involved in any confusion the child may be experiencing. In simple terms, they are grooming the child and parental involvement will interfere with that agenda.

Now, In New Jersy it has been exposed that the state has been playing hide and seek with the blood of newborn babies. Once again, keeping the parents in the dark.

A group of these parents have teamed up with the Institute of Justice (IJ) and have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s practice of keeping the samples of the blood of newborns for 23 years. The state is doing this without the parent’s knowledge or consent. The issue is that after some required initial testing, the state can use the blood sample in any manner that it wants.

New Jersy is not unique in requiting a blood draw on newborns. All states have a similar requirement. The blood is tested for diseases like cystic fibrosis, immune system problems and hormonal deficiencies. However, after the initial testing is complete, the New Jersey’s Department of Health keeps the leftover blood for 23 years. The only way parents could learn about the state doing this is by proactively looking it up on one of the third-party websites listed on the bottom of the card they’re given after the blood draw. Here’s the problem, once the state has the blood, it can use it however it wishes, including selling it to third parties, giving it to police without a warrant, or even selling it to the Pentagon to create a registry, which previously happened in Texas. 

Robert Frommer who is a senior IJ lawyer, stated it this way:

“Parents have a right to informed consent if the state wants to keep their children’s blood for decades and use it for purposes other than screening for diseases. New Jersey’s policy of storing baby blood and DNA and using that genetic information however it wants is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of all New Jersey parents and their newborns.”

Christie Hebert, another lawyer with IJ, explained why New Jersey’s practice is problematic: “What makes New Jersey’s program so uniquely disturbing is the complete lack of safeguards for future abuse and the lack of consent, which leave the program ripe for abuse. Parents should not have to worry if the state is going to use the blood it said it was taking from their baby to test for diseases for other, unrelated purposes.”

Similar abuses and subsequent lawsuits have also been brought against Texas, Minnesota and Michigan. In those cases, settlements have ordered the destruction of blood samples held by the states. The 2009 lawsuit in Texas resulted in the state destroying 5.3 million blood samples, and now, all blood samples obtained after 2012 must be destroyed after two years. A 2014 settlement in the Minnesota lawsuit resulted in 1.1 million blood samples being destroyed. In 2022, Michigan agreed to destroy 3 million blood spots, but that lawsuit has not yet reach completion.

In the New Jersy Case, the plaintiffs are Erica and Jeremiah Jedynak, and Rev. Hannah Lovaglio, a Cranbury mother of two.

“It’s not right that the state can enter an incredibly intimate moment, the tender days of childbirth, and take something from our children which is then held on to for 23 years,” said Lovaglio. “The lack of consent and transparency causes me to question the intent and makes me worried for my children’s future selves. As a mother, I deserve the right to decide whether or not the government takes blood from my son and holds onto it for decades past its claimed use.” 

Every time a story like this surfaces, I wonder what else is taking place that we as citizens are not aware of. One thing is for certain, nothing is as simple as it seems. This wasn’t an oversight; this blood was being kept for a reason. What that reason is needs to be explored and answered, not just by the few states where it has been discovered, but by all 50 states.