Section Description Provided by Instructor
Method of Evaluation: Proctored exam, three brief reflection papers through the semester
This course examines a range of reproductive rights and reproductive practices, focusing on the relation between the two. The course will address the interests of various stakeholders in human reproduction, connecting those interests to contemporary and historical policies such as pro-natalism, population control, individual autonomy, and what is sometimes identified as respect for human life. While our focus will be primarily on the United States, we will also look at comparative regulatory and constitutional systems with regard to particular topics, such as surrogacy and abortion. Other specific topics include reproductive and communication technologies (including pre-implantation fetus diagnosis and tele-medicine), pregnancy loss (miscarriage and abortion), and limitations (constitutional, financial, cultural) on various rights and practices. These explorations reveal how the regulation of reproduction cuts across existing legal doctrines in family law, property, health law, and criminal law.
What counts as a reproductive practice? How do reproductive rights reflect, intersect, or collide with other rights such as human rights, disability rights, and sex equality? How do reproductive rights play out among different sub-groups of would-be (or would-not-be) parents by wealth, race, gender, and disability? About a third of the class will focus on abortion as a subject on its own and as a way in to understanding broader policy concerns regarding reproduction, sexuality, American values, and gender. (Why is so much in the U.S. about abortion?)