Social Justice and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Essay Example
Social Justice and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Essay Example

Social Justice and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (960 words)
  • Published: January 21, 2022
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Assisted Reproductive Technologies have helped many people, from different parts of the world, to conceive biological children that could have otherwise not been conceived through natural means (Galpern, 2013). Based on the statistics established by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, an estimated three million children have been conceived through ART. These technologies have made it possible for single men, infertile women, lesbian, gay, and transgender couples to establish biologically related families, which could have otherwise not been possible to establish. Irrespective of the enormous possibilities, benefits, and opportunities affiliated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies, various issues have been raised regarding ART procedures (Galpern, 2013). These issues include lack of access and limitations on use by gay, transgender, and lesbian couples. Collectively, these issues have raised concerns, which question


the principles of social justice in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Access to ART services is limited on the basis of discriminatory and cost policies. A significant number of ART procedures are costly (Galpern, 2013). As a result, they are only accessible to a small number of people that have can afford to fund the procedures. In the United States, there are no governmental benefit initiatives, which cover ART procedures such as In Vitro Fertilization, among many others. The lack of governmental cover further hinders access to ART procedures due to exorbitant costs. Based on the provisos of reproductive rights, control and choice of reproduction depend entirely on an individual, be it female or male.

Access to cheap reproductive services is perceived as a fundamental right for both men and women. Irrespective of the new technological developments in reproduction, reproductive justice, has failed to put into account issues regarding

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Assisted Reproductive Technologies. As a result, many women and men are denied access to ART procedures. This acts an infringement of their reproductive rights, which stipulate that they have the fundamental right to access affordable reproductive services (Galpern, 2013). Reproductive rights also stipulate that people have the autonomy of choice and control of their reproductive capabilities. Failure to provide cheap ART services is a social injustice. In this case, the government and insurance organizations should also provide financial coverage for ART services.

Professional organizations recommend that ART services should be restricted to heterosexual couples that are legally married. As a result, lesbian, gay, and transgender couples are limited from using ART services. The societal acceptance of LGBTQ families and the effects that they pose on child development has raised diverse concerns. Sociological research depicts that LGBTQ families may pose various detrimental hazards, to children brought up in these family contexts (Fasouliotis & Schenker, 1999). Firstly, research indicates that children raised in LGBTQ households are more likely to develop psychosomatic complications, which may ultimately end up complicating their future and their capacity to establish their families. Secondly, research also indicates that in LGBTQ families, children lack motherly and fatherly figures (Fasouliotis & Schenker, 1999). This, in turn, poses a threat to the children’s normal sexual development. Considering these presumptions, professional and research bodies have advocated for the restriction of ART services to heterosexual couples. Thus, denying LGBTQ couples, opportunities to establish biologically related families.

The restriction of the use of ART procedures, by LGBTQ couples and individuals, violates the principles of social justice. In his analysis, Daniels argued that maintaining the notion of equality in opportunity is an

appropriate mechanism of distributive justice (Daniels, 2002). This presupposition argues against discrimination in access to health related services. By accessing ART services, LGBTQ couples are at a better chance of maintaining normal functioning, irrespective of their sexual orientation (Daniels, 2002). Therefore, limiting the use of ART by LGBTQ couples violates the principle of equality of opportunity. In this view, they are denied the opportunity to establish genetically related families, due to their sexual preference. Further, they are also denied the ability to achieve normal functioning. In this view, LGBTQ couples lose their capacity to participate in all realms of social life, within their societal contexts.

If social justice movements and institutions in the United States fail to address issues pertaining to social justice and ART services, concerns pertaining to lack of access and LGBTQ communities will be disregarded entirely. In this case, the government and other social justice bodies will be incapable of addressing the issues mentioned above hence, intensifying issues pertaining to social injustice.

To address the said issues, a reproductive justice framework should be developed. It should focus on various issues. Firstly, it should advocate for the development of policies that facilitate the provision of financial coverage to individuals that wish to access ART services, irrespective of their marital status or sexual orientation (Galpern, 2013). Secondly, it should advocate for equal access to Assisted Reproductive technologies, particularly for LGBTQ couples or individuals, single women, and men. Thirdly, it should champion for the eradication of laws and regulations, which prohibit the formation of families particularly, among LGBTQ couples (Galpern, 2013). This will reinforce efforts made to promote equal access to ART, by LGBTQ couples and individuals.

Fourthly, the reproductive justice framework should reinforce reproductive rights, for both men and women (Galpern, 2013). In this regard, it should protect the rights of women and men, with regard to their childbearing choices, including the use of ART procedures. By addressing these issues, a reproductive justice framework will align Assisted Reproductive Technologies with principles of social justice thus, ensuring justice in access to ART services.


  1. Daniels, N. (2002). Justice, health and health care. Medicine and social justice: Essays on the distribution of health care.
  2. Fasouliotis, S. J., & Schenker, J. G. (1999). Social aspects in assisted reproduction. Human Reproduction Update, 5(1), 26-39.
  3. Galpern, E. (2013). Assisted reproductive technologies: Overview and perspective using a reproductive justice framework. 2007. Available at: www. genetic pdf. Accessed July, 21.
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