Assisted reproductive technology (ART) separates reproduction from sexuality, creating the possibility of conception without heterosexual intercourse. However, in Taiwan the access to ART is legally restricted to infertile heterosexual married couples. Addressing reproductive justice, some civic groups have advocated extending the access of ART to singles and gay/lesbian couples. However, some are concerned that given the detrimental effects of population growth, we should not support the making of yet more babies. How should the Assisted Reproduction Act be amended to incorporate the reproductive rights of sexual minorities? In what ways can we re-design the use of assisted reproductive technology? Ultimately, what are the values we should promote when we re-configure the use of ART? We will explore these issues in a public hearing of the Congress regarding the amendment of the Assisted Reproduction Act. After the public hearing, some participants will propose founding a non-profit sperm bank in Taiwan, to meet the new needs for those who anticipate building a brave new family through ART.
Chia-Ling Wu is Professor of Sociology at National Taiwan University. Her research specialty includes medical sociology; gender studies; and science, technology and society (STS). Her recent publications include the global-local politics of multiple embryo transfer, innovative public participation methods for newly democratic countries, and risk governance of assisted reproductive technology in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. She co-founded the NGO Birth Empowerment Alliance in Taiwan (BEAT) for bettering the reproductive health care of women and men.