Arianne Shahvisi, Brighton & Sussex Medical School
11 October 2016
“Pro-choice” has assumed a rhetorical power which over-reaches the moral arguments from which it originates. As the term is co-opted to dovetail with consumer capitalist logics, in line with a broader trend of interpreting feminism through the fetishisation of choice, it is critical that the limits of reproductive autonomy be troubled in order to motivate a more careful demarcation of its rightful scope. I undertake an ethical analysis of “choice,” interrogate the moral legitimacy of its relationship to feminism, and attempt to establish that various forms of pre-natal screening and selection do not constitute legitimate exercises of reproductive autonomy, and should not be permitted to free-ride on the political and historical particularities which grant reproductive autonomy its moral mandate.
Arianne Shahvisi is a Kurdish-British academic, writer, and activist. She holds a doctorate in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge, and recently joined the Brighton & Sussex Medical School as a Lecturer in Ethics and Medical Humanities, following two years at the American University of Beirut. Her current research spans a diverse set of topics in applied philosophy, including: reproductive ethics, academic freedom, and social epistemology. She teaches courses on feminist theory, bioethics and political determinants of health. Arianne serves on the editorial board for “Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research,” a feminist journal on gender and sexuality in the Middle East, South West Asia, and North Africa regions.