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Abstract

A comparative analysis of the United States and the United Kingdom reveals important cross- national differences in the implementation of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). To establish these key differences I conducted interviews with healthcare professionals in the US, and I utilized qualitative studies conducted within the UK. I conclude that in the United Kingdom, health care professionals struggle to accurately describe and present testing to patients, and have a much higher subsequent Down Syndrome abortion rate. In addition, many health care professionals in the United Kingdom fail to provide informed consent when administering NIPT. Comparatively, health care professionals in the United States do a much better job gaining informed consent, but often encounter time constraints and cannot present all relevant information. In the United States health care professionals also struggle with a shortage of genetic counselors, insurance coverage limitations, and a lack of data for low-risk populations. To conclude, I provide policy recommendations meant to address each of these issues.

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