Genetic testing, screening and counseling is the process of providing individuals and families with information on the nature, inheritance and implications of genetic disorders to help them make informed medical decisions. Ultimately, the decision to undergo prenatal genetic testing and screening is something each woman decides for herself based on individual indications, as a pro-life beliver in human rights. The test is not for deciding whether to have the baby, but may influence her decision of where to deliver.

Some prenatal tests are screening tests and only reveal the possibility of a problem. Other tests are diagnostic, which means they can determine — with a fair degree of certainty — whether a baby has a specific problem. In the interest of making the more specific determination, the screening test may be followed by a diagnostic test.

Prenatal genetic testing is further complicated by the fact that more abnormalities can be diagnosed in a baby than can be treated or cured. In addition, some tests carry inherent risks as the procedure is both physically and emotionally invasive.

Tests and screens are performed through a variety of methods. Most common tests utilize maternal blood analysis, analysis of fetal DNA (through amniotic fluid or placental tissue), or ultrasound. A complete overview and timeline of the specific tests and screens is available from the American Pregnancy Association.

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