Reproductive Responsibility and Long-Acting Contraceptives
Arras, John D.
Hastings Center Report. 1995 Jan-Feb; 25(1): S27-S29.
...Short of the criminal sanction, the state may attempt to foster concern for reproductive responsibility in a wide variety of ways. Some of these, such as providing women and men with information about various reproductive risks, strike us as being morally unproblematic. Noncoercive, nondiscriminatory incentives to stay in school and delay childbearing would, we think, be an acceptable way to promote responsible parenting. Other measures currently under discussion, such as conditioning welfare benefits on acceptance of a long-term contraceptive, seem to us to invite coercive and discriminatory treatment of the poor and minority group members, and to intrude in a very dangerous way into the reproductive choices of disadvantaged individuals. From the point of view of social policy, the notion of reproductive responsibility has limited usefulness. It can help guide the formulation of public policy in noncoercive directions, but even when narrowly focused on prospective abuse and neglect, it does not justify coercive state intervention. Policy may be animated by a concern for reproductive responsibility, but its justification depends on a careful assessment of its overall social impact.
Accountability; Autonomy; Child Abuse; Children; Coercion; Contraception; Cultural Pluralism; Decision Making; Discrimination; Incentives; Indigents; Injuries; Life; Minority Groups; Moral Obligations; Moral Policy; Obligations to Society; Parents; Prenatal Injuries; Privacy; Public Policy; Quality of Life; Reproduction; Rights; Social Discrimination; Social Impact; State Interest; Stigmatization; Wrongful Life;
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