Cross-Border Assisted Reproduction Care in Asia: Implications for Access, Equity and Regulations
Reproductive health matters 2011 May; 19(37): 107-16
This paper gives an overview of the global commercialised market in assisted reproduction treatment in low-resource countries in Asia and raises concerns about access and equity, the potential commercial exploitation of the bodies of subaltern women to service the demand for donated ova and surrogate pregnancy, and the need for protections through regulations. A lack of systematic data about cross-border reproductive care is a significant obstacle to debate and policy intervention. Little is known about the extent, experience or conditions of cross-border reproductive care outside of Europe and the United States. Further research is needed in Asia on the local effects of this trade upon local health systems, couples seeking care, and those women whose body tissues and nurturing capacities facilitate it. More attention needs to be paid to the provision of publicly funded reproductive health services to address the inequitable distribution of treatment and to investigate means to regulate this trade by governments, international NGOs, professional organisations and civil society groups in developing countries. The global trade in assisted reproduction challenges us to balance the rights of individuals to pursue health care across national borders with the rights of those providing services to meet their needs, especially vulnerable groups in situations of economic disparity.
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