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Published by Burkstrand-Reid in UMKC Law Review (2011) 79. Copyright 2011, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. Used by permission.


Comparing abortion and assisted reproductive technology (ART)--especially controversial techniques like cytoplasm donation--may be detrimental to both. Each technology forces society to confront the deepest issues concerning the beginning of life and, for women, forces them to consider when motherhood begins and what responsibilities might flow from it. Abortion rights advocates must push the inception of motherhood to a point as late in the gestational process as possible so as to avoid thorny issues of fetal personhood. Fertility doctors and their patients may have just as strong of an interest in recognizing an earlier start to motherhood, as a way of gaining or preserving hope during a fragile and unpredictable process. Regardless of when motherhood begins for these women, as abortion and ART regulation continue to grow, women may be further required to subrogate their choices and their health to public determinations of when a woman should or does becomes a mother.

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