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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. 
Fetal screening refers to any tests that allow a fetus to be tested for certain traits or characteristics.
Common procedures include:
- nuchal translucency testing, or
- genetic screening.
- Most often this is performed to test for birth defects.
- The tests can be used to check for conditions such as Down syndrome, spina bifida, cleft palate, Tay Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, and fragile x syndrome.
- In some cases, the tests are administered to determine if the fetus will be aborted.
- In some cases, fetal screening has been done to determine characteristics generally not considered birth defects.
- In some parts of the world, if a fetus is determined to be female, it is sometimes aborted. The rise of designer babies and parental selection for specific traits raises a host of bioethical and legal issues that will dominate reproductive rights debates in the 21st century.