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Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia$
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Angela Ki Che Leung and Izumi Nakayama

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390908

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390908.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

From Single Motherhood to Queer Reproduction

From Single Motherhood to Queer Reproduction

Access Politics of Assisted Conception in Taiwan

(p.92) 3 From Single Motherhood to Queer Reproduction
Gender, Health, and History in Modern East Asia

Chia-ling Wu

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines the regulatory trajectory of access to assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Taiwan since 1980s. The analysis focused on how diverse governing activities validate, challenge, or shape the social relationship at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and heteronormativity. Heternomativity and the discourse of absent fatherhood have reigned so that Taiwan has, from the first ethical guidelines in 1986 to the Human Reproduction Law in 2007, continued to prohibit unmarried women from using ART. Despite the legal exclusion, single women, lesbians and gays did gain access to ART secretly in Taiwan, and more openly abroad. Medical doctors, encountering these excluded women users in their clinics, once lobbied for their legal inclusion in the 2000s, with the rationale centering on women’s desire for motherhood —an acclaimed femininity. By comparison, women’s groups have been seldom involved with the access politics, for their agenda against compulsory motherhood and medicalization of women’s reproductive bodies. Since the mid-2000s, advocacy of queer reproduction, particularly lesbian motherhood, actively shared the information of ART use, and asked for legal inclusion. Their aim to reorder the sexuality hierarchy by asking for reproductive rights makes this unthinkable and unimagined group in early stage of policy-making become the strongest force in reconfiguring the politics of access to ART in Taiwan.

Keywords:   Assisted reproductive technology, Heteronormativity, Gender, Queer reproduction, Access politics

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