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Commentary on ‘Gestation, Equality and Freedom: Ectogenesis as a Political Perspective’
  1. I Glenn Cohen
  1. Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor I Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; igcohen{at}

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It is a pleasure to comment on Giulia Cavaliere’s ‘Gestation, Equality and Freedom: Ectogenesis as a Political Perspective’ in what one might say is ‘enthusiastic disagreement’. The enthusiastic part is because the article is deserving of much praise for adding an important feminist and political theoretical perspective on ectogenesis. The disagreement may come more from disciplinary differences (I am a bioethics-trained law professor, not a scholar in feminist perspectives in bioethics) or disposition (I am more of a pragmatist, and Cavaliere reads to me more of a radical in the best possible sense).

As I understand her argument, Cavaliere intends to attack two common (but not the only) arguments in favour of research into ectogenesis—that is, gestation of a human fetus outside the womb—one that sounds in the potential of the technology to promote equality, the other that it has the potential to promote liberty. On the first her critique is that the risks and burdens of gestation for women are most pronounced for the worst off, but ectogenesis is unlikely to be used by them. On the second her critique is, inter alia, that treating ‘ectogenesis as a means to address workplace inequalities calls for solutions that change the way society reproduces itself rather than a labour market …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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