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Genetic testing during pregnancy can provide information about the health of the developing fetus. Several tests are available to screen for genetic disorders such as trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and neural tube defects. These tests are typically offered to women during the first trimester of their pregnancy.

However, genetic testing can also take place before pregnancy occurs to assess the risk of passing on a genetic disorder to potential offspring. This is called “carrier screening”. Research carrier screening and use the information you find to support your answers to the questions below:

  • Is carrier screening an effective form of disease prevention?
  • What are the ethical concerns regarding carrier screening?
  • Should carrier screening be a standard procedure for patients who are trying to conceive?
  • Should carrier screening be available to everyone at no cost?