Feminists on the inalienability of human embryos

Hypatia. 2006 Winter;21(1):1-14.


The feminist literature against the commodification of embryos in human embryo research includes an argument to the effect that embryos are "intimately connected" to persons, or morally inalienable from them. We explore why embryos might be inalienable to persons and why feminists might find this view appealing. But, ultimately, as feminists, we reject this view because it is inconsistent with full respect for women's reproductive autonomy and with a feminist conception of persons as relational, embodied beings. Overall, feminists should avoid claims about embryos' being inalienable to persons in arguments for or against the commodification of human embryos.

MeSH terms

  • Commodification*
  • Embryo Disposition / ethics
  • Embryo Research / ethics
  • Embryo, Mammalian*
  • Ethical Analysis
  • Female
  • Feminism*
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Relations
  • Personhood*
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Women