The Politics of Danish IVF: Reproducing the Nation by Making Parents through Selective Reproductive Technologies

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In this article, we look at how the politics of reproduction take form in Denmark when people are denied access to IVF. Approaching IVF as a selective reproductive technology, we explore IVF’s selective potential in terms of reproductive governance and reproductive citizenship by analyzing decisions by the Danish State Administration about whether people get access to IVF or not. For that purpose, we had access to assessments of people’s inability to parent that are required by law in case doubts about a person’s ability to parent arise when they seek treatment with IVF in Denmark. Through this analysis, we identify three parenthood and citizenship ideals that characterize reproductive governance and the politics of reproduction in Denmark: (1) the medically sane/sober self whose parenting and societal decisions are not influenced by self-altering medical diagnoses and/or treatment, (2) the independent, capable, and productive self that pursues a meaningful life in societal terms, and (3) the responsible self that actively invests into reproductive futures. Based on this analysis, we argue that people are unduly excluded from reproduction if they are identified as not living up to these ideals because of the intersections of their gendered, bodily, social, and economic positioning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297–319
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 247213285