47. Disability, Reproduction and Genomics Innovation: Reproductive Justice for Endangered Bodies
Riikka Homanen, Tampere University; Kriss Fearon, De Montfort University; Maria Berghs, De Montfort University;
Reproductive technologies, policy and practices are often shaped around the un-nuanced assumption that disability produces unworthy lives and medical intervention is required to screen out or compulsorily 'cure' disabling conditions. Existing and emerging reproductive technologies - such as gamete donation, antenatal and preconception genetic screening, and genome editing - aim to screen out or 'fix' reproductive tissue and foetuses with genetic conditions. As these technologies are not globally legal or accessible, people increasingly pay privately or travel transnationally to countries with different legal and ethical approaches to disability and treatment. Reproductive justice approaches produce critical discourses around the impact on disabled people, whose relationships to these technologies are complex and varying, sometimes marked by exclusion and discrimination.
This panel examines the conceptualisation of reproductive technologies and their relationships with expanding ideas of 'disability', 'impairment' and 'disease', focusing on how screening and genomics shape ideas about the good life. We invite empirical, theoretical and methodological papers which ask, what imaginaries of relationality are thinkable and possible in practices of reproduction in the historical contexts of ableism, biomedicalisation and biocapitalism? How does ableism intersect with racism, homophobia, economic deprivation, social injustice, forced migration and toxic exposures, which affect people's ability to produce children, make kin, and sustain family relationships? How could ableism be resisted or subverted in the arena of reproductive technologies? What are the ways to resist and rethink norms and conceptions of reproduction and kinship, to achieve reproductive justice for disabled people?