Assisted Reproductive Equality: An Institutional Analysis

16 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2010 Last revised: 18 Feb 2014

See all articles by Andrew Coan

Andrew Coan

University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: September 28, 2010


Should the constitutional right to procreative liberty extend to assisted reproductive technologies? Unlike most commentators to address this question, Radhika Rao appreciates that the answer turns not only on constitutional values but also on the competence of the institutions called upon to carry those values into effect. On that basis, she urges courts to focus on reproductive equality rather than recognizing a broad liberty right or leaving the regulation of assisted reproductive technologies wholly to an unsupervised political process. This brief symposium essay assesses the institutional promise and limitations of Rao’s reproductive equality approach. A broader takeaway is that comparative institutional analysis is both necessary to sound constitutional reasoning and more complex than many otherwise able constitutional analysts have appreciated. This paper is a companion piece to Andrew Coan, The Future of Reproductive Freedom, also available on SSRN.

Keywords: Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Equal Protection, Due Process, Procreative Liberty, Reproductive Liberty, Reproductive Freedom, Institutional Choice, Institutional Analysis

Suggested Citation

Coan, Andrew, Assisted Reproductive Equality: An Institutional Analysis (September 28, 2010). 60 Case Western Reserve Law Review 1143, Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1145, Available at SSRN:

Andrew Coan (Contact Author)

University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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