Lectures

Reproductive rights in the time of COVID-19

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As the global pandemic escalates, health services are rapidly changing, creating tension between reproductive rights and safeguarding against COVID-19 spread, revealing the question: what is essential and what is not?

As the world grapples with the growing threat of COVID-19, health systems are being put to the test, rushing to radically reconfigure themselves in time to absorb a large influx …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: CRISPR Babies and Bioethics

In late November, He Jiankui, a scientist in China, announced that he had created the first “CRISPR babies,” meaning that he performed germ-line genome edits on human embryos, which were implanted through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and has now resulted the birth of twin girls. He used CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing technology that can target DNA at precise

Features

Remaking Reproduction Conference: A Review

More than 150 scholars of reproduction descended upon an uncharacteristically sunny Cambridge in June 2018 to put reproduction at the center of social analysis at the Remaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies conference. The Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc), led by Professor Sarah Franklin at the University of Cambridge, organized the delivery of 90 papers, 4 plenary conversations …

Features

Splice of Life

A Birthday Present

Georgia, my middle daughter of three, is a combination of my DNA and identity release[1] donor #2817[2]. Unlike her sisters who both have the advantage of knowing their sperm donors in real time (both friends of mine), Georgia’s donor can only be revealed to her next year when she turns 18. There is a …

Features

Ultrasound as a diagnostic tool in Brazil: celebrating babies, blurring problems.

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This is a photograph of a publicity for a “street corner” obstetrical ultrasound in Brazil. It proclaims: “ultrasound examinations at low prices.” The advertised “low prices” can be indeed be very low: some clinics charge less than US $10 for an ultrasound examination. The aim such examination is to confirm the existence of a pregnancy, provide reassurance, but above all …

Features

Texting Like A State: mHealth and the first thousand days in South Africa

This article is part of the series:

What does making a new life look like from the perspective of a mobile phone?

For the phone of a woman using the public health care system in Cape Town, South Africa, in all likelihood involves a series of WhatsApp conversations with a partner, with friends and kin. The phone helps with “Googling” questions about health and childcare, maybe about …