Surrounding Embryos: Biology, Ideology, and Politics

39 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2006

See all articles by Janet Dolgin

Janet Dolgin

Hofstra University - School of Law


This article considers several parameters of the late twentieth and early twenty-first-century debate in the U.S. about ethics, politics, science, and ideology (popularly referred to as the "culture wars"). The article focuses, in particular, on shifting understandings of the embryo. The article reviews developments in science (especially the advent of stem-cell research and cloning) that have affected understandings of embryo, the history of debate about abortion in the U.S., and the place of discourse about abortion in a more far-reaching social debate about family, personal relationships, and the scope of personhood in the U.S.

Keywords: abortion, cryopreserved embryos, embryo adoption, embryonic status, reproductive rights, stem-cell research

Suggested Citation

Dolgin, Janet, Surrounding Embryos: Biology, Ideology, and Politics. Health Matrix, Vol. 16, No. 27, 2006; Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-6. Available at SSRN:

Janet Dolgin (Contact Author)

Hofstra University - School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

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