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.


Aggregated News

The Royal Society has recently published the results of an extensive survey of the attitudes of the general public to genetic modification. This sent my mind back to 1990, when the human fertilisation and embryology bill was going through...

Biopolitical Times

April 17 update: SB 1190 was unanimously approved by a California Senate committee, and will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Check back for more news.

April 10 update: See a fact sheet on SB 1190, the Forced Sterilization Compensation Act, with a full list of supporting organizations.

California finally has the opportunity to right a wrong that has long gone unaddressed: introduced this legislative session, SB 1190 would compensate people who were involuntarily sterilized under eugenics laws...

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In 1942, 18-year-old Iris Lopez, a Mexican-American woman, started working at the Calship Yards in Los Angeles. Working on the...

Biopolitical Times

Twenty years after its release, the film Gattaca remains an enduring touchstone for discussions of human genetic technologies. Starring Ethan...

A patient looks through an eye doctor's instrument, which covers their face almost completely.

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Gray scale photo with a close up of someone's eye.

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Colorful chart showing ATCG

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Three people sit with their backs turned as they look at a massive wall art exhibition of black and white portraits of people's faces.

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Three burning white candles, in a dark room. Candle wax drips on each.

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Grayscale close up of a child looking wide-eyed as they lay bundled in blankets.

Op-Ed

Grayscale image of an adult woman laying on a couch, with a toddler nestled in her arms. Both she and the toddler look affectionately at each other.

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