Contemporary Issues in Law - Volume 14 - Issue 4
Reproductive Futures: Reproductive Choices?
GUEST EDITORS' FOREWORD
Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning and Dr Claire Longarre
THE PROTECTION OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IN EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Dr Claire Lougarre Southampton Law School, University of Southampton
The recent recognition of a ‘right to sexual and reproductive health’ in human rights law and the volatility of national legal safeguards on such issues (as highlighted by recent events in Europe), call for a discussion on how sexual and reproductive health is currently protected in European human rights law. This article will thus explore whether and how human rights bodies of the Council of Europe protect individuals’ sexual and reproductive health through their monitoring procedures. It will analyse the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and that of the European Committee of Social Rights since 2000, to finally conclude whether or not these indirectly enable the recognition of a right to sexual and reproductive health in the future of the Council of Europe. It will analyse the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and that of the European Committee of Social Rights since 2000, to conclude whether or not they can contribute to the full recognition in practice of a right to sexual and reproductive health in the Council of Europe.
THE LANGUAGE OF COLLABORATIVE REPRODUCTION: WRITTEN 'VOICES' REFRAMING INTERNATIONAL SURROGACY
Dr Rita D'Alton-Harrison Royal Holloway School of Law, Royal Holloway, University of London
This article reports the findings from empirical research focusing on international surrogacy. The document research used witness statements, parental order reports and court judgments as units of analysis in order to examine how UK commissioning couples report their experiences of international surrogacy to the courts and to map the resultant judicial response. The methodology of forensic linguistics provided an opportunity to ascribe interpretive meanings to descriptions of the personal journey of commissioning couples. In particular, the reproduced stories of the pre- and post-reproduction process reveal differing discourses that converge into an ideology of surrogacy as collaborative in nature. It is argued that the reported experiences of commissioning couples have the potential to affect judicial knowledge through a type of knowledge osmosis that in turn leads to transformational judicial policy in the United Kingdom that is centred on family identity.
SURROGACY 2.0: WHAT CAN THE LAW LEARN FROM LIVED EXPERIENCE?
Dr Kirsty Horsey Reader in Law, Kent Law School, University of Kent
This article surveys the landscape of the current law on surrogacy in the United Kingdom, arguing that it is schizophrenic in nature and that its underlying policy of ‘permissive discouragement’ leads to belief in a number of harmful surrogacy myths. These, taken together with decisions in recent surrogacy cases, lead to an argument in support of wholesale law reform. The article then supports this, using findings of an empirical survey conducted in 2015 into the experiences of surrogates, intended parents and others. It concludes that better empirical understanding of the realities of surrogacy practice has so far been lacking in debates on surrogacy, but has great potential to help reform the law in the future.
CHOOSING DEAFNESS? A LIBERAL EXPLORATION OF THE LEGAL PROHIBITION ON SELECTION FOR DISABILITY IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Dr Nicola Williams Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Religion, Lancaster University
This paper concerns the insertion into English and Welsh law of a prohibition on selection for disability in one’s offspring for social reasons via the use of assisted reproductive technologies. It explores the changes in law that have occurred since the 2008 HFEA Act and subjects to philosophical scrutiny, from a liberal perspective of the limits of law, the reasons that have been given within legal and policy documents for its insertion.
A NEW DAWN? ECTOGENESIS, FUTURE CHILDREN AND REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE
Dr Natasha Hammond-Browning School of Law, University of Gloucestershire
With recent scientific developments showing the likely development of complex artificial uteruses, ectogenesis is on the distant horizon as a reproductive choice. This article explores when partial and complete ectogenesis may be in the best interests of the future ecto-children through discussion and application of current legislation, and argues for timely debate and proactive regulation of ectogenesis.
REFLECTING ON REPRODUCTIVE FUTURES
Professor Marie Fox School of Law & Social Justice, University of Liverpool
In a concluding reflection Professor Marie Fox seeks to take up some of the themes underpinning the articles in this special issue and to locate them in the context of new directions in contemporary Health Law.