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Exploring the Ineffable in Women's Experiences of Relationality with Their Stored IVF Embryos

(2017) Body & Society

23 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2017  

Jenni Millbank

University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 21, 2017

Abstract

This article contributes to a more nuanced and contextual approach to women’s decision-making concerning their stored embryos through attempting to craft a space for the expression of the complex, and contradictory, emotions attached to these decisions, unhooked from any notion of abstract moral status inhering in the embryo itself. The interview transcripts quoted reflect both the struggle to make meaning and the struggle to speak that meaning in the face of cultural, legal and clinical frames that have not, to date, reflected women’s lived experiences of IVF. In order to try to address this sense of the ineffable, I draw in this paper upon a series of images by German born American artist, Kiki Smith. The paper explores three major themes, each alongside one of Smith’s artworks connecting to an experience of discomfort or confounding unease.

Keywords: kiki smith; IVF; embryos; assisted reproduction; embodied relationality; feminist theory

JEL Classification: K36, I12

Suggested Citation

Millbank, Jenni, Exploring the Ineffable in Women's Experiences of Relationality with Their Stored IVF Embryos (September 21, 2017). (2017) Body & Society. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3041039

Jenni Millbank (Contact Author)

University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Australia

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