Reproductive Technologies-Does Choice mean Freedom?

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Master'sB, October 1996

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Reproductive Technologies - Does choice mean freedom?

'...One does not, it might be said, increase a person's freedom simply by increasing the sheer quantity of possibilities which he or she can choose from.'

Richard Norman

The issue of reproductive technologies in our society today raises an interesting question. Do they increase a women's freedom of choice or do they expand the power of men and science over women. Is freedom to choose what they can do with their bodies truly freedom. Freedom, as a core, is the absence of external impediment. In this sort of area can women truly be free of external impediment, also is this truly freedom of choice? 'The range of physical possibilities from which a person can choose at a given moment has no direct relevance to freedom...Whether a person is free or not does not depend on the range of choice.' (Haylek 1960, p.12f).

This subject is so socially charged that a women could not possibly have true freedom of choice but a choice which is basically decided for her, whether it be by the limited choices made available to her by medical science or by the men which are directly involved with them in the decision.

In order to truly understand this issue we must look at it's core, reproductive technology. This is a vast area to discuss because it ranges from artificial insemination to abortion to contraception to genetic engineering with many area in between.

Artificial insemination is the introduction of sperm to an ovum artificially either inside or outside the female genital tract. Abortion is the 'extermination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life.' Birth control is a huge area of reproductive or contraceptive technology, in effect though all sub areas of this main area deal with...