Law, Policy and Reproductive Autonomy
By Erin Nelson
Reproductive choices are at once the most private and intimate decisions we make in our lives and, undeniably, also among the most public. Reproductive decision-making takes place in a web of overlapping concerns - political, ideological, socio-economic, and health - all of which engage the public and involve strongly held opinions and attitudes about appropriate conduct on the part of individuals and the State. Law, Policy and Reproductive Autonomy examines the idea of reproductive autonomy, noting that, in the attempt to look closely at the contours of the concept, we begin to see some uncertainty about its meaning and legal implications - about how to understand reproductive autonomy and how to value it. Both mainstream and feminist literature about autonomy contribute valuable insights into the meaning and implications of reproductive autonomy. The developing feminist literature on relational autonomy provides a useful starting point for a contextualized conception of reproductive autonomy that creates the opportunity for meaningful exercise of reproductive choice. With a contextualized approach to reproductive autonomy as a backdrop, the book traces the regulation of reproduction in US, Canadian, English, and Australian law and policy, argues that not all reproductive decisions necessarily demand the same level of deference in law and policy, and makes recommendations for reform. The book will be essential reading for all those interested in medical law and ethics generally, and the regulation of reproduction more specifically.
Publication Date: 6/24/2013