The creation of 'test--tube babiesa acted as a spur to public debate about the implications of research on embryos, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and the whole range of technologies concerned with human reproduction. The scope of reproductive technologies examined in this volume -- from techniques for the medical 'managementa of childbirth, to genetic engineering -- is such that few women in the western world, and smaller and smaller numbers in the third world, escape their influence. What then is their impact: on the process of reproduction, on family life and particularly on women? 'Reproductive Technologiesa is a remarkable collection of original essays which attempts to place the current controversy over reproductive technologies in a political, legal and economic context. Contributors -- including Lesley Doyal, Ann Oakley, Ros Petchesky, Carol Smart, Hilary Rose, and Naomi Pfeffer -- examine systematically the technologies that have sparked off these debates.
They explore the problem of infertility which is used to validate reproductive technologies; the way assumptions about the family and about biological parenthood continue to structure the arguments for and against; the impact of the medicalization of childbirth; the way debates are embedded in changing conceptions of paternal rights, maternal rights and embryo rights; the problems of providing adequate health care for women; and, above all, the urgency with which these issues raise problems about the accountability of science.