The Right to Reproduce

In Wendy A. Rogers, Catherine Mills & Jackie Leach Scully (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics. New York, NY, USA: (forthcoming)

Carolyn McLeod
University of Western Ontario
The reproductive rights of women have been a central topic in feminist bioethics. The focus has been predominantly on the right not to reproduce, and so not to be subject to pronatalist social forces that make motherhood compulsory for women. That is the case despite many women and other members of marginalized groups experiencing anti-natalism, or in other words, social pressure to avoid biological reproduction. For these groups, the right to reproduce is as important, if not more important, than the right not to reproduce. This chapter concentrates on the right to reproduce and considers what form it should take in feminist bioethics. The main claim of the chapter is that feminists should ground the right in the need to protect marginalized groups from anti-natalism.
Keywords reproduction, rights, right to reproduce, feminism, pronatalism, anti-natalism, bionormativity
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