Reproductive Technology and Disability

  • Adrienne Asch
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society book series (CIBES)


How do the new reproductive technologies affect people with disabilities? Answering this question, taking into account current and future generations of disabled women, men, and children requires putting a biological fact, impairment or disability, in a social context. In a different society than ours, the meaning of the new technologies for people with disabilities could resemble that for people without disabilities. In other words, any special implications for people with disabilities stem primarily, though not exclusively, from their position as the subjects of deep-rooted ambivalence on the part of the nondisabled population. Below, I will sketch out the social context for disability in our society and then discuss from the perspective of disability rights the six areas of reproductive concerns featured in other segments of this book: prenatal screening, time limits on abortion, fetus as patient, reproductive hazards in the workplace, alternative modes of reproduction, and interference with reproductive choice.


Down Syndrome Prenatal Diagnosis Spina Bifida Disable People Disable Child 
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© Rutgers, The State University 1989

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  • Adrienne Asch

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