ROME (AP) — The French doctor who discovered the genetic basis of Down syndrome but spent his career advocating against abortion as a result of prenatal diagnosis has taken his first major step to possible sainthood. Pope Francis on Thursday approved the “heroic virtues” of Dr. Jerome Lejeune. The doctor-advocate lived from 1926-1994 and was particularly esteemed by St. John Paul II for his anti-abortion stance. The papal recognition of Lejeune’s virtues means that he is considered “venerable” by the Catholic Church. The Vatican must now confirm a miracle attributed to his intercession for him to be beatified, and a second one for him to be declared a saint.