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
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This essay reflects the views of the author and not those of the New Jersey Commission on Legal and Ethical Problems in the Delivery of Health Care. A number of people helped to refine this essay. Among the participants in the Project on Reproductive Laws for the 1990s, I owe special debts to Sherrill Cohen, Irene Crowe, Mary Sue Henifin, Judy Norsigian, Rosalind Petchesky, and Nadine Taub. For their close reading and important suggestions, I would also like to thank: Ellen Baker, Douglas Biklen, Michelle Fine, Anne Finger, Alan Gartner, Judy Heumann, Mary Johnson, Bob Kraft, Betty Levin, Vivian Lindermayer, Abby Lippman, Marsha Saxton, Richard Scotch, William Weil, and Irving Kenneth Zola. I must say a special thank you to Ellen Baker and Alan Gartner, who took time to think through the topics as I struggled with them, and whose intellectual integrity and steadfast friendship have sustained me in this endeavor and much else besides.
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Asch, A. (1989). Reproductive Technology and Disability. In: Cohen, S., Taub, N. (eds) Reproductive Laws for the 1990s. Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society. Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3710-5_4
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