UC Law Journal


In her essay, Professor Rothman challenges the ability of the legal structure to address adequately the problems created by the new reproductive technologies. She argues that conceiving of such issues in terms of rights or individual liberties denies our interconnectedness.

Rothman fears the new technologies promote patriarchy by emphasizing the genetic tie over the nurturance, the connection people experience during gestation. Patriarchal social theories operate on the premise that people spring forth out of nowhere, self-interested and ready to form social contracts. Such theories deemphasize the connection with which humans enter the world-after nine months cradled in their mothers' wombs-and the relation that connection bears to our need to form social contracts.

Rothman predicts that as the new technologies develop, defined as they are by the notion of individual liberties, we will be remade in partriarcy's image-separate individuals springing forth from artificial wombs without that preceding connectedness and trust that allows us to be social.

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