Invisible women in reproductive technologies: Critical reflections

Piyali Mitra

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2018.031


Abstract

The recent spectacular progress in assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) has resulted in new ethical dilemmas. Though women occupy a central role in the reproductive process, within the ART paradigm, the importance accorded to the embryo commonly surpasses that given to the mother. This commentary questions the increasing tendency to position the embryonic subject in an antagonistic relation with the mother. I examine how the mother’s reproductive autonomy is compromised in relation to that of her embryo and argue in favour of doing away with the subject-object dyad between them, particularly in the contexts of surrogacy and abortion. I also engage with the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016. A critical discussion of the privacy judgment passed by the Supreme Court of India helps examine how personal autonomy of the body and mind extends to include the reproductive autonomy of women as well.

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