I am a feminist bioethicist specializing in reproductive ethics and sexual ethics. In October 2019, the BBC recognized my research as engendering a better future for women, naming me as one of the 100 “inspiring and influential” Women of 2019.
Below is more information about my main research projects and you can find all of my publications, talks, and media coverage on the corresponding pages.
One area of my main projects focuses on the ethical and public health need to develop long-acting reversible contraceptives for cismen. In this ongoing project, I analyze how gender norms have led to the disparity in contraceptive options between women and men and argue that new male contraceptives would unburden women from bearing most of the responsibility for contraception, enhance men’s reproductive autonomy, decrease worldwide unmet contraceptive need, and advance gender equality.
Another ongoing project centers on the social, ethical, and legal considerations regarding fertility preservation for adults, adolescents, and children from different populations including cancer patients, individuals with disorders (differences) of sex development, transgender individuals, and women concerned about age-related infertility. My work arguing that insurance companies should cover fertility preservation for cancer patients has been used to buttress policy changes within institutions, states, and medical professional societies (e.g. American Medical Association). In November 2019, I gave the keynote talk at the Oncofertility Consortium Conference on the ethics of fertility preservation for pediatric patients.
Abortion and Other Topics in Reproductive Ethics
I’ve also published on other topics within reproductive ethics, including childbirth, gestational surrogacy, and assisted reproductive technologies. Some of my recent projects in reproductive ethics focus on abortion. For instance, I co-authored a paper that examines how both sides of the abortion debate claim the other side is misusing the word “abortifacient” in order to advance their political or religious agenda. Another colleague and I interviewed abortion providers and neonatologists who care for fetuses/premature babies of similar gestational age to understanding how they conceptualize pain and moral status during the periviable period.
Much of my recent work centers on caring for LGBTQ patients. Some of this work is within reproductive ethics, such as addressing fertility preservation for intersex and transgender adolescents and expanding the definition of infertility to include LGBTQ couples and single individuals. Some of this work is outside of reproduction, such as a qualitative project interviewing LGBTQ individuals regarding their relationships with their physicians and a qualitative exploratory project interviewing elderly trans individuals regarding health and aging.
Academic Appointment and Education
I am the Director, Institute for Bioethics & Health Humanities and Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
I earned a PhD from Michigan State University in philosophy with a focus on bioethics and feminist theory. I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
I can be reached at email@example.com.