My aim in this work is to demonstrate how stem cell research and therapy may morally harm women. I argue that the harm is located in the potential exploitation of women and the products of their reproductive labour, i.e. human embryos and fetal tissue, through the commodification of women's bodily tissues and reproductive capacities. I propose that the best way to disclose the specific harms to women in the stem cell controversy is to look at the relationship between the stem cell debate and the abortion debate. I argue that there is one tempting way to maintain the parallels which does not foster the proper moral consideration of women in either the abortion debate or the stem cell debate. However, I maintain that if we understand the abortion debate from a feminist perspective, we will be able to see the appropriate relationship between the abortion and stem cell debates.
Dr. Marin Gillis
is the Director of Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. She teaches medical ethics to medical students, residents, and Nevada physicians and allied healthcare professionals; as well as develops programming for all in medical humanities and the arts.