Disability Rights

Disability rights advocates have been among the earliest and most vocal critics of emerging human genetic and assisted reproductive technologies. They are acutely aware that technologies enabling the selection of “good” genes and “normal” traits can devalue the bodies and ultimately the lives of people with disabilities. Their concerns are grounded in histories of discrimination and abuse, notably the twentieth-century state-sponsored sterilization projects in dozens of U.S. states, and the Nazi campaigns to exterminate hundreds of thousands of disabled people in German medical facilities and concentration camps. Today, disability rights advocates remind all of us to ask whether scientific innovations, including prenatal tests, embryo screening, and gene editing for reproduction, are likely to create a future that respects or devalues difference and disability as a part of the human condition.

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This essay has been condensed. It can (and should) be read in its entirety in "Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America," available today.

When I was twenty-five, I was surrounded by women wanting babies. A...

Op-Ed

On August 16-17, at the University of California at Berkeley, more than 300 people gathered to explore science, society and the future of gene editing at the first CRISPRcon.  Scientist, business people, farmers, regulators, conservationists and interested citizens came together...

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We’re on the cusp of being able to genetically shape our offspring, but without accurately informing would-be parents, genetic diversity

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On August 2nd, scientists achieved a milestone on the path to human genetic engineering. For the first time in the...

Two young girls face each other, and both appear to be using American Sign Language to communicate. They seem to be signing gum, candy, or apple.

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Biopolitical Times
Surgical equipment is laid out on a tray

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Landscape photo of the US Supreme Court building. with the sun and blue sky above.

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