WOMEN AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
 

 

Today, women are faced with a rapidly expanding array of reproductive technologies. Developed by private biotechnology companies and marketed to fertility clinics, these new options have been presented to women as an issue of "choice" — supposedly providing them greater control over the process and outcome of their pregnancies. 

The Council for Responsible Genetics unequivocally supports a woman's right to make her own reproductive decisions. However, we oppose the utilization of human eggs and embryos for experimental manipulations and as items of commerce because of the potential for eugenic applications and health risks to women and their offspring.  We also encourage a robust public debate regarding the complexity and controversy over commerical surrogacy and call for greater regulation to protect women's rights and health.

The realm of assisted reproduction has become a multi-billion dollar industry, visible in the increasing availability of in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, prenatal genetic diagnosis, and chemical and chromosomal testing of the fetus. So far, these experimental procedures have not been closely regulated. 

Part of this is because the reach of federal oversight extends exclusively to publicly- funded research, leaving private sector activity largely unregulated. Many are resistant to any regulations over the fertility industry due to the continuing political residue of the abortion debate. Women in the United States fought hard to have courts recognize a women’s right to choose abortion, and are wary of opening the door to government regulation of anything to do with women’s eggs, embryos or fetuses. The word "choice" has powerful connotations and women’s groups themselves are not eager to restrict its power. The industry is aware of this and has capitalized on the situation by supposedly offering the new genetic technologies as "choices."

The unique role of women in reproduction puts them on the front line of bio-technological experimentation, and as such, women have the potential to play a leading role in determining the direction and scope of these developments. CRG works, in partnership with a number of women’s rights and health groups, to reshape the discussion about genetic technologies in reproduction and to equip women with the information necessary to lead the process. Our goal is to shift debates over genetic technologies away from abortion politics and into more effective and productive discussions about the integrity of reproduction and the control of women’s bodies. Through education, networking, outreach, and activism women can direct their own reproductive futures.


 

New CRG Special Report: Non-Invasive Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis (NIPD)

 

The Long Term Health Risks of Human Egg Extraction Have Not Been Adequately Studied

Help Protect Women's Health and Safety by Signing our Petition Today

 

Surrogacy

CRG Special Report:  Surrogacy in America

O brave new world that has such Romneys in it, SF Chronicle 2012 featuring Kathy Sloan

Made in India, by Kathleen Sloan, GeneWatch 2010

Surrogacy Introduction:  A 21st Century Biotechnology Issue Impacting Women's Rights

Guide to State Surrogacy Laws

Surrogacy:  The Next Frontier for Reproductive Justice, by Miriam Perez February 2010

Surrogate Motherhood:  A Feminist Issue NOW September 2009.

The Politics of Women's Health:  Surrogacy and Gestational Care, Our Bodies Ourselves July 2005.

Surrogacy from a Feminist Perspective, by Malini Karkal, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics Dec. 1997.

Surrogacy: Why Women Lose, by Christine Szikla 1996

Lawsuits:

Filed by intended parents against SurroGenesis, a surrogacy agency

Filed by Health Net, an insurance company, against B-Coming, a surrogacy agency


Surrogacy in the News

Surrogacy Battles Expose Uneven Legal Landscape, Wall St. Journal January 2010. 


Want To Work For $3 An Hour? Try surrogate motherhood
 , Forbes July 2009.

Will Sarah Jessica Parker's Surrogate Get Visitation Rights?  Slate Magazine June 2009.

Surrogacy: Wombs for Rent?  NOW PBS September 2009 (video).

The Curious Life of Surrogates  Newsweek April 2008.

Brief by Feminists Oppose Surrogate Parenthood, New York Times July 1987.

Baby M, Ethics and the Law, New York Times January 1987.


Surrogacy Books & Publications


ARTs and Women:  Assistance in Reproduction or Subjugation?
 SAMA 2006. 

Baby Markets:  Money and the New Politics of Creating Families, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Editor 2010

The Baby Business:How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception, Debora Spar 2006.

Gay Couple's Journey through Surrogacy:  Intended Fathers, Michael Menichiello 2006.

Making Babies, Making Families:  What Matters Most in an Age of Reproductive Technologies, Surrogacy, Adoption and Same-Sex and Unwed Parents' Rights, Mary Lyndon Shanley 2002.

Surrogate Motherhood:  Politics and Privacy, Larry Gostin, Editor 1990.


 
Additional Background Materials


Breast Cancer Myths and Facts
 

CRG ENDORSES INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S DECLARATION, AUGUST 2009


Articles

Dangerous Harvest, by Diane Beeson, GeneWatch 2010

Reproductive Trafficking, by Hedva Eyal, GeneWatch 2010

Eggsploitation, by Kathleen Sloan, GeneWatch 2010

Eggs for Sale by Judy Norsigian, GeneWatch, October 2009

Logics of Heredity
By Kelly Happe, GeneWatch, Jan. 2006


Egg Donation Dangers
By Judy Norsigian, GeneWatch, Sept. 2005

Can Genetics Provide Better Treatment for Breast Cancer? By Sujatha Byravan, GeneWatch, Jan. 2003

What Human Genetic Modification Means for Women By Judith Levine, WorldWatch

Should We Expand Prenatal Screening? (English version) / Doit-on étendre le diagnostic prénatal? (French version) by Abby Lippman, L'observatoire Génétique


Resources


Center for American Progress

National Organization for Women

Our Bodies Ourselves

SAMA

Women's UN Report Network

 
 
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