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Assisted Reproduction and Choice in the Biotech Age: Recommendations for a Way Forward

2011 | Contraception Journal | Download

Over the past several decades, millions of people have used new reproductive technologies in their quest for biologically related children. Access to these technologies has enabled people who suffer from infertility, same-sex couples and single women to form biological families.

At the same time, these tools can be used to select the sex of a future child or to “de-select” based on a growing number of genetic markers for disabilities and other conditions. While assisted reproductive technologies have increased parental options for those who can afford them, they pose numerous ethical challenges that the reproductive rights, health and justice communities are only beginning to address.

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"Public regulation and oversight of the assisted reproduction industry are long overdue and much needed. Continuing to allow the market to dictate how assisted reproduction is developed and used, and continuing to insist that voluntary guidelines are all that are needed, leaves us ethically ill-served and politically vulnerable,"  write Francine Coeytaux, Marcy Darnovsky, and Susan Berke Fogel of PHI's Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research.

They continue: "Taking the policy initiative is far more likely to result in the outcomes we want. Reasonable rules and oversight will make assisted reproduction safer for women, protect the health and rights of all involved, prevent unacceptable uses of the technologies and bolster public trust both in their appropriate uses and in the leadership of the women's health and provider communities."

Read the full article, originally published in Contraception Journal.