Taking Human Reproductive Rights Seriously: The Russian Perspective

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Anastasia Maleshina



The very idea of human reproductive rights seems challenging. For much of human history, they were not discussed seriously as being a part of the right to privacy, liberty, security, equality, health, and non-discrimination. The situation changed drastically in the 1990s with the development of reproductive technologies. These technologies do not only help infertile couples to conceive, they allow single men and women, no matter their status and sexual preferences, to have offspring of the same genetic origin. We can affirm that in the 21st century assisted reproductive technology (ART) has completely changed what it means to have a baby and to be a parent. Despite their benefits, reproductive technologies leave space for ethical and medical concerns. A few of the many issues raised by reproductive technologies include: the reproductive right to abortion, legal status of the human fetus, ethical aspects regarding the use and storage of embryos, sex selection, surrogacy and gamete donation, and the right and accessibility to medical sterilization. This article sets forth the existing ethical and human rights standards on these issues and illustrates the need for further development and clarity on balancing these rights and interests in the Russian Federation.

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