Infertility and Moral Luck: The Politics of Women Blaming Themselves for Infertility
International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
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Infertility can be an agonizing experience, especially for women. And, much of the agony has to do with luck: with how unlucky one is in being infertile, and in how much luck is involved in determining whether one can weather the storm of infertility and perhaps have a child in the end. We argue that bad luck associated with being infertile is often bad moral luck for women. The infertile woman often blames herself or is blamed by others for what is happening to her, even when she cannot control or prevent what is happening to her. She has simply had bad luck. We focus on the self-blame of infertile women and show how it stems from pro-natalism that targets women. We also argue that overall for women, regret is a better moral response to infertility than self-blame.