Six years ago, the March of Dimes -- a longtime advocate for the prevention of birth defects -- became a national force in favor of newborn screening. At the time, living on one side of a state line could mean having access to tests that weren't available in an adjacent state. The organization's campaign initially pushed for all states to test for ten diseases. Now they're working to make sure they test for all 29 recommended disorders (see a state-by-state report card at marchofdimes.com/peristats). "If your state already tests, it's still important to contact your governor and state legislators and tell them you want them to protect funding for the newborn screening program," says Jennifer L. Howse, Ph.D., president of the March of Dimes.
Originally published in the March 2010 issue of Parents magazine.