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Banking on DNA Futures: Thinking About Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests in Comparative Contexts

Monday, September 30, 2013
12:00 AM
2239 Lane Hall

Professor Rapp's areas of research and interest include gender, reproduction, health and culture, and science and technology in the United States and Europe.

Co-sponsored by the Program for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice, the Feminist Science Series, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

• Elizabeth F.S. Roberts, Anthropology U-M
• Alexandra Minna Stern, Obstetrics & Gynecology, History, American Culture, U-M
• Audrey Norby, Fetal Diagnostic Center, U-M Hospital and Health Systems

“Banking on DNA: Thinking About Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing in Comparative Contexts” begins with an overview of the “endless frontier” in reproductive technology. Technologies of fertility regulation and control now proliferate in the developing world, beyond the countries where they were first debuted: Europe, North America, Australia.  Now, selective and expanding parts of the world –not just the rich populations stratified in the global North—occupy a long-term “existential gap” with regard to biomedical aspirations and fears, increasingly focused on infertile women, men, and fetuses. I illustrate new iterations of the gap continually revised and expanded using the case of Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests, now making their way through the marketplace into the lives of America’s pregnant women.  What does it mean to launch yet-another technology that assumes total reproductive control over fetal disabilities can be achieved?  This presentation highlights the hidden burdens and ethics of the rapid diffusion etched into the NIPTs.