Human rights versus human life: Reproductive governance in Costa Rica

The Five College 2015 Jackie M. Pritzen Lecture by Lynn Morgan 

April 9, 5:00 p.m. in Mary Woolley Hall’s New York Room at Mount Holyoke College

In the 2015 Jackie Pritzen Lecture, Mount Holyoke Professor Lynn Morgan will examine why Costa Rica became the only country in the western world to ban in vitro fertilization, prompting the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to overturn the ban. Yet two years later, Costa Rica remains in violation of what has been called “the Roe v. Wade of Latin America.” Morgan will consider rival claims on human rights, as the inviolability of life is pitted against a progressive, gender-equitable definition of human rights.

Lynn Morgan, the Mary E. Woolley Professor of Anthropology at Mount Holyoke College, specializes in medical anthropology, the anthropology of gender and sexualities, and reproductive governance in Latin America. She was residential academic director for Mount Holyoke’s study-abroad program “Global-Local Challenges to Sustainability:  The Costa Rica Experience.” In 2009-2010, Morgan was a Weatherhead Resident Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a founding member and former director of the Five College Culture, Health and Science Program. She is the author of several books, including Icons of Life: A Cultural History of Human Embryos.

The annual Five College Jackie Pritzen Lecture is named for longtime member of the consortium staff, Jackie M. Pritzen, who worked with many different faculty groups during her 25 years with the consortium. The lectures were initiated in tribute to the central role that faculty play in furthering cooperation among the five institutions, and to celebrate a distinguished faculty member whose scholarship, teaching and service continue that work.