In her talk at the American University of Armenia Turpanjian School of Public Health, Judy Norsigian, founding member of Our Bodies, Ourselves, spoke about the rapid expansion of global commercial surrogacy; the lack of consideration for the health and well-being of gestational mothers and children born of surrogacy; the importance of advancing best practices and human rights in both surrogacy and egg retrieval; and the need to be cautious about human genome modification.
By Reveal | The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX | Sept. 15, 2018
Originally broadcast in June 2017, around the 40th anniversary of in vitro fertilization, this podcast follows a couple that “puts its trust in a fertility clinic that promises more than it can deliver.” It explores the world of fertility treatment and the clinics and intended parents it brings together with promises of forming families.
The midsummer reunion in a suburb west of the city looks like any other, but these family ties can’t be described with standard labels. Instead, Arroyo, a 21-year-old waitress from Orlando, is here to meet “DNA-in-laws,” various “sister-moms” and especially people like Sophia, a cherished “donor-sibling.”
This article follows Kianni Arroyo, one of many children created using sperm from “donor #2757,” in her quest to find her donor-siblings. It tracks country-specific caps on donor births, as well as efforts of organizations like Donor Sibling Registry that urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to limit the number of births per donor, mandate reporting of donor-conceived births, and require donors to provide post-conception medical updates.
In the mid-1990s, the international community pronounced prenatal sex selection via abortion an “act of violence against women” and “unethical.” At the same time, new developments in reproductive technology in the United States led to a method of sex selection before conception; its US inventor marketed the practice as “family balancing” and defended it with the rhetoric of freedom of choice. In Gender before Birth, Rajani Bhatia takes on the double standard of how similar practices in the West and non-West are divergently named and framed.
Bhatia’s extensive fieldwork includes interviews with clinicians, scientists, biomedical service providers, and feminist activists, and her resulting analysis extends both feminist theory on reproduction and feminist science and technology studies. She argues that we are at the beginning of a changing transnational terrain that presents new challenges to theorized inequality in reproduction, demonstrating how the technosciences often get embroiled in colonial gender and racial politics.