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Inmaculada de Melo-Martin. Rethinking Reprogenetics: Enhancing Ethical Analyses of Reprogenetic Technologies
2017, New York: Oxford University Press
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Added by: Björn Freter
Publisher's Note: Reprogenetic technologies, which combine the power of reproductive techniques with the tools of genetic science and technology, promise prospective parents a remarkable degree of control to pick and choose the likely characteristics of their offspring. Not only can they select embryos with or without particular genetically-related diseases and disabilities but also choose embryos with non-disease related traits such as sex. Prominent authors such as Agar, Buchanan, DeGrazia, Green, Harris, Robertson, Savulescu, and Silver have flocked to the banner of reprogenetics. For them, increased reproductive choice and reduced suffering through the elimination of genetic disease and disability are just the first step. They advocate use of these technologies to create beings who enjoy longer and healthier lives, possess greater intellectual capacities, and are capable of more refined emotional experiences. Indeed, Harris and Savulescu in particular take reprogenetic technologies to be so valuable to human beings that they have insisted that their use is not only morally permissible but morally required. Rethinking Reprogenetics challenges this mainstream view with a contextualised, gender-attentive philosophical perspective. De Melo-Martín demonstrates that you do not have to be a Luddite, social conservative, or religious zealot to resist the siren song of reprogenetics. Pointing out the flawed nature of the arguments put forward by the technologies' proponents, Rethinking Reprogenetics reveals the problematic nature of the assumptions underpinning current evaluations of these technologies and offers a framework for a more critical and sceptical assessment.

Comment: This book could be used in a variety of upper division undergraduate and graduate courses including those in bioethics, philosophy of technology, contemporary moral issues, science, technology, and society, and philosophy of medicine. It critically assesses the arguments of those who enthusiastically support reprogenetic technologies from a feminist perspective that takes science and technology to be value-laden and gendered.

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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
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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Schouten, Gina. Fetuses, Orphans, and a Famous Violinist: On the Ethics and Politics of Abortion
2017, Social Theory and Practice 43 (3): 637-665
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Added by: Sara Peppe
Abstract:

In this paper, I urge feminists to re-center fetal moral status in their theorizing about abortion. I argue that fundamental feminist normative commitments are at odds with efforts to de-emphasize fetal moral status: The feminist commitment to ensuring care for dependents supports surprising conclusions with regard to the ethics of abortion, and the feminist commitment to politicizing the personal has surprising conclusions regarding the politics of abortion. But these feminist insights also support the conclusion that, conditional on fetal moral status, care for unwanted fetuses would be a social obligation that only derivatively falls to women who are unwillingly pregnant.

Comment: Best discussed alongside Judith Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" and Liam Murphy's "The Demands of Beneficence." Challenges a widely accepted intuition about the ethics of abortion and can be used to illustrate the vulnerabilities of thought experiments that appeal to intuitions. Demonstrates the useful argumentative move of assuming premise P for the sake of argument (even if you don't endorse P) in order to examine the implications that follow from P.

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