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Accepted Paper:

The Techno-legal Environment of Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction: A comparative case study of Italy and Japan  
Mio Tamakoshi (WZB Berlin Social Science Center)

Paper short abstract:

The study investigates regulations and regulatory debates on multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) in Italy and Japan. By a comparative analysis, the study explores how technologies and practices surrounding MFPR have developed in interaction with respective MAR and abortion regulations.

Paper long abstract:

This study investigates multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) as a case for the interactive development of regulations and medical technologies surrounding reproduction. MPFR is a procedure to reduce one or more live foetuses in multiple pregnancies, whose incidence is significantly higehr in pregnancies induced by medically assisted reproduction (MAR). While MFPR reduces maternal/fetal health risks associated with multiple pregnancies, it invokes legal and ethical issues also relevant to abortion and life selection. By looking comparatively at the cases of Italy and Japan, the study explores how technologies and practices surrounding MFPR have been developed in interaction with respective MAR and abortion regulations, shaping the stratified experiences of multiple pregnancy. Drawing on the tradition of comparative studies of policies in STS, the study conducts interpretive analysis on MFPR-related litigations, debates among the national gyneacologist associations as well as government committees. The study shows how reproductive technologies and practices interacting with the (absence of) regulations shape the experiences of multiple gestation and MFPR in the two countries. The analysis is prospected to demonstrate that the highly regarded status of embryo in the Italian MAR law has paradoxically rendered MFPR more avaiable, whereas the aversion of strict regulations on reproductive technologies in Japan has allowed the development of technologies and practices to prevent multiple gestation following MAR while leaving both the practitioner and the patient who resort to MFPR legally vulnerable.

Panel P141
Doing and undoing reproduction [Medical Anthropology Europe [MAE]
  Session 2