Reconceptualising Reproductive Rights
The hypothesis of this project is that the conceptualization of reproductive rights as (certain) human rights does not provide an adequate theoretical framework for understanding contemporary reproductive rights. This project seeks to theorize and reconceptualize reproductive rights, and through this contribute to legal theory about reproductive rights.
Contracts and the private market are increasingly becoming the drivers of the legal evolution of individual reproductive rights. At the same time, human rights seem to have reached the limit of their evolutionary potential in their current conceptualisation of reproductive rights.
The project combines a sociolegal analysis of legal genealogy with the analytical concept of sociotechnical imaginaries in examining periods of emergence of reproductive rights. The project will clarify what the ongoing developments in reproductive medicine has for the ability of the legal system to regulate this either through human rights law or through domestic/international regulation of contractual freedom.
- What arguments, contexts and sociotechnical imaginaries have historically been the driver of law reform in the the reproductive area in Danish law (eg market/consumer context, rights/gender discourses, health concerns)?
- What kind of regulation (eg self-regulation, disciplinary systems, contracts, resolutions of international private law conflicts, national legislation, international hard or soft law or court decisions) has been the driver of the legal evolution of RR in Danish law historically and currently.
- Which analogies were applied in the formation of legislator conceptualisation? The historical and current legal regulation of sexual education, contraceptives, abortion, surrogacy and assisted reproduction is identified through the databases of the Danish Parliament, Retsinfo, Karnov Forarbejder, manual and electronic research of the Parliamentary journal.
Outcome: 3 articles under publication
- What arguments, contexts and sociotechnical imaginaries have historically been the driver of law reform in the the reproductive area in international and European human rights law (eg population control politics, gender rights, autonomy)?
- The reconceptualization and theorisation of RR is also sparked by new fields of medical research which ties reproductive tissue to new argumentative avenues that go beyond reproductive choice and autonomy. What are the imaginaries in European human rights law in relation to ‘health’, ‘choice’ and ‘disease’ and the rights and freedoms that form the basis for the concept of RR? What impact can the ‘health’ and ‘disease’ setting be expected to have on Dworkin’s compelling reasons, ie the States’ margin of appreciation and scope to infringe on RR under the ECHR “subsection 2”- ambit? These questions involve an analysis of judgments relating to the three identified elements inherent in tomorrow’s trajectory of reproductive tissue which also span a ‘disease’ and ‘health’ setting. Judgments will be identified via the HUDOC case-law database and analysed by means of the legal dogmatic method in order to determine the thresholds related both to the seriousness and to the social influenceability of the freedoms in question and analysed through the lenses of sociotechnical imaginaries and a genetic sociology of law approach.
Outcome: 2 articles published
Findings of subprojects 1&2 are used to theorise and reconceptualise RR in 2 articles.
Reconceptualising Reproductive Rights has received a three year funding from Independent Research Fund Denmark.
Project: Reconceptualising Reproductive Rights
(Grant number: # 8019-00002B)
PI Professor with special responsibilities
Janne Rothmar Herrmann
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 35 33 41 08