Until What Age Can a Woman Be Fertilized? A Debate on the Legislative Regulation of Assisted Reproduction in the Czech Parliament
Assisted reproduction has shifted from being an experimental technique to becoming a part of mainstream reproduction medicine. It has become a common and increasingly prevalent method of procreation in the 21st century. The boundaries of what is and is not normal in reproduction (and therefore desired, in the foucauldian sense) are not determined by what is medically possible; rather, they are bound by the legislation, public demand, and ethical and religious norms. Effort to redefine the boundaries determined by the legislation governing assisted reproduction occurred in the Czech Republic between 2008 and 2011. This effort was part of the so-called reformation package, which also included the Act on specific medical services. The Act regulates the conditions under which assisted reproduction is available. One issue that turned out to be controversial was the age barriers for women receiving assisted reproduction. Age barriers together with the issue of availability of assisted reproduction for women without a partner had not been previously clearly defined in the legislation. The main purpose of the paper is to analyse the discussions that occurred in the Parliament when the Act was debated. The paper will focus particularly on the three following issues: how was nature and normality discussed in the context of assisted reproduction; how were these topics related to nature and to society; and how does the adopted Act reflect on the position of a woman as an actor of reproduction.
Gender, rovné příležitosti, výzkum, redakce, Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
Publication order reference