Headnotes

In Defense of Future Children: A Response to Cohen’s Beyond Best Interests

This essay responds to I. Glenn Cohen’s articles, Regulating Reproduction and Beyond Best Interests, by asserting that Cohen’s work fails to attain his goal of fundamentally shifting the terrain upon which discussions about exercising control over reproduction takes place. The response offers four interrelated observations about why Cohen’s work is ultimately unconvincing. First, his work is too deeply tied to the notion of procreation as substantially, and perhaps strictly, a matter of rights and autonomy, which ignores the ways in which such a narrow lens continuously fails to capture the complexities of the enterprise of creating new lives, an enterprise that necessarily involves some consideration of consequences for those who already exist and those who will exist. Second, Cohen’s work takes little account of the fact that actively choosing to have children is a moral choice and, as such, it is subject to condemnation, critique and public scrutiny. Third, if we take Cohen at his word that his piece is about shifting the conversation in the policy realm, his work substantially misses the proverbial boat because broad conversations about reproductive regulation will always be conducted with some notion of the consequences that the exercise of reproductive choice has on the lives of those children who issue as a result of such choices. Fourth, and finally, because of the reality of the prior observation, the real task for those who find BIRC untenable is not to convince others that it is unsound—philosophically or otherwise—but to convince them that their notions of best interest are flawed.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Fall Submissions Open – Headnotes

    The Minnesota Law Review: Headnotes fall submissions period is open. For more information, please visit our submissions page. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Vol. 97 Piece Quoted in Mother Jones Article

    A recent Mother Jones article predicting how the Roberts Court would resolve King v. Burwell draws on How Business Fares in the Supreme Court from Volume 97. You can read the article here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Welcome to De Novo

    For nearly one hundred years, the Minnesota Law Review has been a leader amongst academic legal publications. When Professor Henry J. Fletcher launched the journal in 1917, his goal was simple. It was to “contribute a little something to the systematic growth of the whole law.” Since then, the Law [...]

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days