Reproductive Justice, Health & Rights

Advocates for reproductive health, rights, and justice are increasingly aware of the safety and social risks, as well as the benefits, of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and other human biotechnologies. For instance, ARTs have helped large numbers of people create families and become parents of biologically related children. Yet long-term risks of some assisted reproductive practices are under-studied, and in the U.S. in particular, the ART field has developed almost entirely in the commercial sector and is notoriously under-regulated. Other social, ethical, and practical concerns include payments that encourage economically vulnerable women to provide eggs or to become surrogates, social sex selection, and inappropriate forms of prenatal and embryo screening. Additionally, in the debate now underway on human gene editing for reproduction, the language of “choice” is sometimes misused to claim that creating a child with specified traits is the same as the right to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. Advocates focused on reproductive justice, health and rights have a major stake in human biotechnology issues because ARTs redefine longstanding norms of human reproduction and pregnancy, both in positive and adverse ways, and impact women’s bodies, health, and well-being.


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Kiev, Ukraine - Throughout Ukraine, advertisements about becoming a surrogate mother are plastered on buses and throughout the metro.

They ask: "Аre you aged between 18 and 35? Do you have healthy children? Are you physically and psychologically fit?...

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I was 15 in 1978 when Louise Joy Brown’s birth captured the world’s attention. Still new to monthly menstrual cycles, I had just begun to believe that one day my womb would be at the center of human creation. It...

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Vardit Ravitsky is an associate professor of bioethics at the University of Montreal.

Sarah Kimmins is an associate professor at...

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In March, Mumbai resident Shaheeda Khan*, 26, spent 20 days at a fertility clinic in Kerala, where doctors gave her...