Reproductive autonomy: A case study

David R Hall, Anton A van Niekerk


Reproductive autonomy (RA) has been challenged by the availability of genetic information, disability and the ethics of selective reproduction. Utilitarian and rights-based approaches, as well as procreative beneficence (PB) fail to provide compelling reasons for infringing RA, and may even be likened to dangerous eugenics. Parents are not morally obliged to prevent the birth of a disabled child. Society should rather adopt inclusivity, recognising and providing persons with disabilities opportunities for capability and worthwhile lives.

Authors' affiliations

David R Hall, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital

Anton A van Niekerk, Centre for Applied Ethics, Philosophy Department, Stellenbosch University

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reproduction; autonomy; congenital anomaly; pregnancy; impairment

Cite this article

South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 2016;9(2):61. DOI:10.7196/SAJBL.2016.v9i2.496

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-09-07
Date published: 2016-10-18

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