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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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

September 6 update: Unfortunately, SB 1190 will not become law this year. Despite having been unanimously approved by the full California Senate and an Assembly committee, it did not pass through an August 16 meeting of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill had the support of a large coalition of social justice organizations (see a full list on this fact sheet). CGS and our allies are disappointed at this outcome, but look forward to the possibility of advancing a...

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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...

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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