Home Overview Press Room Blog Publications For Students about us

About Reproductive Justice, Health, Rights & Human Biotechnology

Many applications of human biotechnologies, especially those involving reproduction, involve women's bodies. As these technologies are developed and used, women's well-being must be a central concern and reproductive rights must be firmly protected.

Assisted reproduction technologies have helped many people who otherwise could not have become parents of biologically related children. But these technologies tend to be costly and invasive. Their success rates, though improving, are still low. Most important, the long-term risks to women and children have not been well studied. Treating infertility has become a highly competitive business, and the field itself is notoriously under-regulated. Many experimental techniques are put into clinical use before they are adequately tested.

Other social, ethical, and practical concerns have also been raised: payments to encourage economically vulnerable women to provide eggs for other women's fertility treatment or to become surrogates; the increasing number of fertility clinics that offer social sex selection; and other forms of screening, testing, and selecting embryos. More radical reproductive technologies such as reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification (changing the genes we pass on to our children) are being used in animals, and though clearly dangerous, are being contemplated for use by humans.

It is not uncommon for those advocating these technologies to appropriate the language of reproductive choice to argue that parents should have the "right" to choose their children's characteristics. But as an increasing number of reproductive rights leaders point out, there are important differences between choosing when and whether to bear a child and creating a child with specified traits.

Advocates of technologies that would pre-determine the traits of future generations argue that these are "enhancements" that would improve the lives of children. But in addition to serious physical risks, significant social and psychological hazards are likely. Children born with pre-selected traits would come into the world expected to look, act, and perform according to specifications. Unreasonable and unfulfilled parental expectations can certainly flourish without these technologies, but expectations grounded in scientific claims and expensive procedures would likely be far more pronounced.

30k-60K US Sperm and Egg Donor Births Per Year?by Wendy KramerHuffington PostOctober 6th, 2015For the past 28 years the estimated number of children born via donor insemination has remained 30,000: thatís because there is no reliable method of assessing how many children are conceived via donor insemination.
Women Find a Fertility Test Isn't as Reliable as They'd Likeby Eliza BarclayNPROctober 5th, 2015Ovarian reserve tests are often ambiguous and can be misinterpreted; some fertility specialists worry that many women will be misled by their results.
Ontario to Cover In-Vitro Fertilization Treatments[Canada]by Rob FergusonThe StarOctober 1st, 2015Health Minister Eric Hoskinsí announcement Thursday makes Ontario the second province to cover costly programs for what is increasingly seen as an important medical issue.
Informed Consent for Egg Donors Wonít Exist Unless We Track Donorsí Healthby Judy E. SternOur Bodies, Our BlogOctober 1st, 2015Recent academic articles raise concerns that conflicts of interest in ART provision may result in donors having an incomplete understanding of the risks of eggs retrieval procedures.
Womb transplants given UK go-aheadBBCSeptember 30th, 2015In 2016, 10 women will be chosen for an NHS-approved clinical trial to receive surgery to transplant a donated uterus, monitor organ acceptance for 1 year, and then initiate up to two IVF pregnancies before removing the transplant.
Why Some Parents Choose to Have a Deaf Babyby Rich WordsworthMotherboardSeptember 29th, 2015Genetic deafness is one of many conditions that can be screened for using PGD. Thatís led to a surprising phenomenon: deaf parents using PGD not to avoid deafness, but to deliberately select for it.
The Messy, Complicated Nature of Assisted Reproductive Technology[cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by J. Wesley JuddPacific StandardSeptember 28th, 2015California court case is a representative example of a bigger issue with assisted reproductive technology in this country: It's largely unregulated and ambiguous.
Why the Majority of Sperm Donations in Canada Are from the U.S.[Canada]by Jim BrownCanadian Broadcasting CorporationSeptember 27th, 2015Only 5-10% of donated sperm in Canada is from domestic donors; the majority comes from US donors who Ė unlike their counterparts north of the border Ė are paid for their services.
Couples Left in Limbo as They Await Ontario IVF Funding Decision [Canada]by Elizabeth ChurchThe Globe and MailSeptember 25th, 2015In the spring of 2014, the Ontario government pledged to fund one cycle of IVF for citizens. Eighteen months later, couples struggling with infertility are still waiting to find out when and how that financial help will be delivered.
Ohio Abortion Bill Stokes Old Tensions between Disability and Abortion Rights Advocatesby Emma ManiereBiopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015A round-up of recent articles and commentaries about Ohioís HB 135, which would ban abortions sought due to fetal diagnoses of Down syndrome.
Displaying 1-10 of 988  
Next >> 
Last Page » 
« Show Complete List » 


home | overview | blog | publications| about us | donate | newsletter | press room | privacy policy

CGS • 1936 University Ave, Suite 350, Berkeley, CA 94704 • • (p) 1.510.665.7760 • (F) 1.510.665.8760