Autonomy, trust, & surveillance: technology in reproductive healthcare
Autonomy, trust & surveillance – the role of technology in reproductive healthcare
It is now fifty years since the Predictor home pregnancy test first became available in Britain, affording women the chance to find out for themselves whether they were pregnant without supervision from a doctor. But instead of being hailed as a breakthrough for autonomy, the Predictor was met with panic that women could not be trusted to use it correctly, and many pharmacists refused to stock it.
Half a century later, we explore the themes of autonomy, trust and surveillance in relation to reproductive technologies, including contraception, home fetal dopplers, abortion medication, and pregnancy screening. We discuss how reproductive technologies are used to both advance women’s autonomy and promote tighter control of their reproductive choices.