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Gaard, Greta. “Reproductive Technology, or Reproductive Justice? An Ecofeminist, Environmental Justice Perspective on the Rhetoric of Choice.” Indiana University Press 15, no. 2 (2010): 103–29.


In Gaard’s article she argues against the rhetoric of reproductive ‘choice,’ arguing that the term has been commodified through the introduction of new reproductive technologies (NRTs), such as fertility-enhancing technologies that can have a detrimental effect on a woman’s health. One of her main critiques is that ‘choice’ does not apply to every woman, that it must be placed in a context where many white, middle-class women have reproductive options, but many women of color often have their sex reproductive decisions made for them. She connects her analysis of NRTs to the environment, arguing that a woman’s infertility is not really a ‘choice,’ but rather a product of her environment (i.e., pesticides and other toxins that are a byproduct of industrialized societies). Gaard critiques NRTs and the invocation of choice in that it produces victim-blaming by attributing infertility to a woman’s decision to have a career and delay child-bearing until it is ‘too late.’ Her solution to these problems is bringing together multiple perspectives such as “feminism, ecofeminism, environmental justice, reproductive and environmental health” (105) to produce an intersectional analysis that shifts the rhetoric away from choice to one of a more comprehensive reproductive justice. She furthers argues for an intersectional approach to environmental and reproductive justice, noting that “the sexual and reproductive capacities of females of species are affected by social and environmental toxins.” (120) Thus, she argues, the supposed ‘choice’ NRTs offer women seeking pregnancy is not really a choice, but rather a complex manifestation of environmental and social circumstances. This article offers a sound and convincing critique of the term ‘choice’ in relation to reproduction. She skillfully fuses together an analysis of how the environment affects women’s reproductive and general health noting that NRTs are a byproduct of an unhealthy environment, which has complicated some women’s abilities to get pregnant. The article is generally an easy read; however, her main points are not always easily identifiable.


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Assisted reproductive technology   Intersectionality   Environmental justice