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Purdy, Laura M., , . Reproducing Persons: Issues in Feminist Bioethics
1996, Cornell University Press.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: Controversies about abortion and women’s reproductive technologies often seem to reflect personal experience, religious commitment, or emotional response. Laura M. Purdy believes, however, that coherent ethical principles are implicit in these controversies and that feminist bioethics can help clarify the conflicts of interest which often figure in human reproduction. As she defines the underlying issues, Purdy emphasizes the importance of taking women’s interests fully into account. Reproducing Persons first explores the rights and duties connected with conception and pregnancy. Purdy asks whether conceiving a child or taking a pregnancy to term can ever be morally wrong. She challenges the thinking of those who feel the prospect of disability or serious genetic disease should not constrain conception or justify abortion. The essays next look at abortion from a variety of angles. One contends that killing fetuses is not murder; others emphasize the moral importance of access to abortion. Purdy considers the conflicting interests of women and men regarding abortion, and argues against requiring a husband’s consent. The book concludes with a consideration of new reproductive technologies and arrangements, including the controversial issue of surrogacy, or contract pregnancy. Throughout, Purdy combines traditional utilitarianism with some of the most powerful insights of contemporary feminist ethics. Her provocative essays create guidelines for approaching new topics and inspire fresh thinking about old ones.

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Satz, Debra, , . Markets in Women’s Sexual Labor
1995, Ethics 106(1): 63-85.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord, Contributed by:

Summary: This paper argues that prostitution and other markets in women’s sexual labor are not necessarily morally wrong. Satz argues that such markets are morally wrong to the extent that they reinforce the vast social inequalities between men and women. Satz discusses a number of approaches to understanding the wrongness of markets in women’s sexual labor, including an economic approach, an essentialist approach, and an egalitarian approach. Ultimately, she critiques the economic and essentialist approach as insufficient, favoring the egalitarian approach. Lastly, Satz discusses the question of decriminalization, arguing in favor of legislation concerning markets in women’s sexual labor only to the extent that those laws promote gender equality.

Comment: This text serves as an excellent introdution to debates concerning the morality of prostitution. It presents an overview of a number of tactics used to understand the wrongness of prostituion and provides an introduction to the legislative considerations of markets in women’s sexual labor.

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