February 7, 2011, 12:00pm
The Politics of Reproduction in the Middle East: Reproductive Tourism & Civil Liberties
Presenter: Marcia Inhorn (Yale University) and Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (University of Pennsylvania)
Location: Golkin Room, Houston Hall

This event will feature two interrelated lectures, each with its own Q & A Session.

Global Gametes: Reproductive Tourism and Islamic Bioethics in the High-Tech Middle East: Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to overcome infertility, are now widely available across the Middle East. Islamic fatwas emerging from the Sunni Islamic countries that have permitted many ARTs, while prohibiting others. So-called reproductive “tourism”—or the search for ARTs and donor gametes across national and international borders—is a new Middle Eastern phenomenon.  So is the uptake of ARTs among Middle Eastern men, who suffer from particularly high rates of severe male infertility.

     Marcia C. Inhorn is a professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University, specializing in the Middle East. Her research interests include gender and feminist theory, as well as issues pertaining to global health. Inhorn is the founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, associate editor of Global Public Health and co-editor for the Berghahn Book series on "Fertility, Sexuality and Reproduction."

Civil Liberties, Civic Wombs: Women and the Politics of Reproduction in Iran: The history of women's health in Iran abounds with contradictions and controversy. This lecture probes the involvement of women in shaping reproductive policies since 1945. Maternalists often approached the subject of women's health and family relations with little recognition that women actually had rights and choices in matters of reproduction.

     Middle East Center Director Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet is an associate professor of History at Penn, specializing in Iranian nationalism, diplomatic history, and gender and women's issues in the Middle East. Her lastest book, Conceiving Citizens: Women, Sexuality, and Religion in Modern Iran, focuses on such issues.

The Middle East Center, The Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, The Penn Women's Center and the Penn Consortium for Undergraduate Women