HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, May 5, 2005

New Reproductive Rights Article

Susan Frelich Appleton, Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law (St. Louis) has written an informative and thought provoking new essay entitled, "Unraveling the 'Seamless Garment': Loose Threads in Pro-Life Progressivism," which will appear in the second volume of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal.  The abstract follows: 

   "Pro-life progressivism" purports to approach many contested
  issues of the day in a unified and consistent manner - often
  expressed through the metaphor of the "seamless garment." This
  approach opposes abortion, the death penalty, and unjustified
  war; it supports the provision of health care for all citizens
  and financial assistance for the poor; and it professes
  allegiance to progressive and egalitarian ideals. This brief
  essay offers a pro-choice reply, developed for a conference and
  symposium called "Can the Seamless Garment Be Sewn? The Future
  of Pro-Life Progressivism."

  The current practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) not only
  shows repronormativity at work but also exposes biases and blind
  spots in the contemporary pro-life position. IVF, which
  routinely creates extra embryos destined for destruction,
  remains almost completely unregulated - and virtually ignored by
  those who oppose abortion freedom in the name of embryonic and
  fetal life. This examination of IVF confirms what historians and
  political scientists have observed before: The abortion debate
  emerges as primarily a conflict about feminism, motherhood, and
  women's roles.

  This essay concludes by noting some initiatives that
  progressives might pursue to promote gender equality and respect
  for women's decisions while reducing the number of abortions
  actually chosen.

For the full article, please click here. [bm]

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