Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview

eight
Reprotech:
A Feminist Critique
of the Language
of Reproductive
Technologies

ROBYN ROWLAND

"Reprotech," the language of the new reproductive technologies, helps to construct a context for reproductive technology that both softens its reality and redefines women as fragmented body parts and children as products. Within this discourse, infertility is presented as the primary issue at stake; yet the infertile include a broad range of people, including women on in vitro fertilization (IVF) because of their male partner's infertility. Increasingly, language conflates the woman undergoing IVF with the couple. For example, so-called surrogate mothers are sought to incubate embryos for couples. Although statistics for IVF are rarely represented as failure rates even though after fourteen years between 90 and 95 percent of women exposed to IVF fail to have babies, medical scientists repeatedly give misleading success rates, often including pregnancy rates in those for live births.

-46-

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