Barnard Sponsors Conference on the Politics of Reproduction and New Technologies

By Christine Cupaiuolo — February 17, 2009

The Barnard Center for Research on Women is sponsoring a day-long conference Saturday, Feb. 28, on “The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life.” I wish I could get to New York — the topic and the questions raised couldn’t be more timely. Just look at today’s New York Times, which considers whether in vitro fertilization causes changes in gene expression or in developmental patterns — changes that may not be obvious at birth.

Here’s the conference description:

“The Politics of Reproduction” will focus on the global social, economic and political repercussions of new forms of reproduction, including assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption. These new technologies have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and that raises a number of important social and ethical questions.

Do these new technologies place women and children at risk? Should there be limits on how reproductive technologies are used? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses? And how can we ensure that marginalized individuals, for example, people with disabilities, women of color, and low-income women, have equal access to these new technologies and adoption practices?

The conference will feature numerous experts in the field of reproductive rights and reproductive justice, including Wendy Chavkin, professor of clinical population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health; Michele Goodwin, Everett Fraser Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota and founder of the Center for the Study of Race and Bioethics at DePaul College of Law; Iris Lopez, associate professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the City University of New York and author of “Matters of Choice: Puerto Rican Women’s Struggle for Reproductive Freedom”; and Loretta Ross, national coordinator and founding member of SisterSong, a reproductive justice collective.

View the full speakers’ list here, along with the program. Would love to hear from folks who are able to attend. If anyone wants to guest blog, let me know.

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