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Conceiving Christian America

Conceiving Christian America

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Conceiving Christian America

Embryo Adoption and Reproductive Politics

Risa Cromer
New York University Press, 2023
ISBN 9781479818594

Softcover, 320 pp.
6.1 X 8.9 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds

How embryo adoption advances the Christian Right's political goals for creating a Christian nation

In 1997, a group of white pro-life evangelical Christians in the United States created the nation's first embryo adoption program to "save" the thousands of frozen human embryos remaining from assisted reproduction procedures, which they contend are unborn children. While a small part of US fertility services, embryo adoption has played an outsized role in conservative politics, from high-profile battles over public investment in human embryonic stem cell research to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Based on six years of ethnographic research with embryo adoption staff and participants, Risa Cromer uncovers how embryo adoption advances ambitious political goals for expanding the influence of conservative Christian values and power.

Conceiving Christian America is the first book on embryo adoption tracing how this powerful social movement draws on white saviorist tropes in their aims to reconceive personhood, with drastic consequences for reproductive rights and justice. Documenting the practices, narratives, and beliefs that move embryos from freezers to uteruses, this book wields anthropological wariness as a tool for confronting the multiple tactics of the Christian Right. Timely and provocative, Conceiving Christian America presents a bold and nuanced examination of a family-making process focused on conceiving a Christian nation.

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