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Imagine a world… where ectogenesis isn’t needed to eliminate social and economic barriers for women
  1. Claire Horner
  1. Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Claire Horner, Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; chorner{at}bcm.edu

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We can imagine a world in which ectogenesis provides a safe gestating space that eliminates maternal morbidity and mortality while maximising healthy outcomes for babies. In this world, women, no longer physically—and visibly—pregnant, are no longer economically, socially or physically disadvantaged due to the potential for pregnancy and birth. Because everyone can access the same technology, women are able to work without fear of pregnancy-related discrimination or restrictions, and health disparities among individuals in gestation and birth based on socioeconomic status are eliminated. This imagining allows us to explore the ethical and social underpinnings of such a world, and consider how to achieve it in our current paradigm. Having explored the freedom and equality that is possible in an ideal hypothetical where all have equal access to such technologies, we can now imagine that same world without ectogenesis: women, no longer economically, socially or physically disadvantaged due to pregnancy and birth, despite still becoming pregnant. Such is the potential political perspective and provocation that can be spurred on by discussion of ectogenesis.

As Cavaliere argues, the technological reality of ectogenesis may not achieve the freedom and equality that …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @claireihorner

  • Contributors CH is the sole author of this manuscript.

  • 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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