Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations' population division, writes in a post for the Inter Press Service News Agency that artificial reproductive technologies raise legal and ethical concerns that have not been fully resolved yet. Since 1970, five million people are estimated to have been born because of in vitro fertilization. Chamie notes that "gestational surrogacy raises challenging ethical questions, such as the exploitation of poor women, as well as complex legal issues, especially when transactions cross international borders." The same ethical and legal concerns will be raised by the prospect of people asserting their reproductive rights to be cloned and the development of babies outside the human womb in artificial uteruses, he writes: "Anticipated future medical breakthroughs in human reproduction make it even more imperative for the international community of nations to address the growing challenges and concerns regarding reproductive technologies and rights."
The clash over the requirement that most employers, as well as insurers for religious institutions that are not directly associated with houses of worship, cover female employees' contraception is primed for the U.S. Supreme Court, UPI reports. The Sixth and Third Circuits ruled against challenges to the insurance mandate to cover contraception, but the 10th Circuit has ruled in favor of a challenge by two private, secular companies, UPI also reported. The Solicitor General has asked the Supreme Court to grant certiorari on the issue, and such requests tend to be granted by the justices, UPI also reports.
Two separate cases have reached the U.S. Supreme Court seeking certiorari on the mandate that all health insurance cover contraception and other means of ending pregnancies. The Tenth Circuit sided with an employer opposing providing such coverage, while the Third Circuit sided against an employer, according to this clip from The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes Catholicism. The stage is now set for a circuit split on the tension between women's reproductive rights and religious beliefs.