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Conceiving Christian America

Embryo Adoption and Reproductive Politics

Risa Cromer

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Belletristik / Gegenwartsliteratur (ab 1945)


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.



embryo adoption, reproductive politics, global media, Transgender history, science and technology studies (STS), Christian Right, in vitro fertilization, pro-life movement, feminist anthropology, US politics, assisted reproductive technologies, legal scholars, cloud storage, antiabortion activists, personhood politics, discourse, net neutrality, infrastructure, white saviorism, antiabortion movement, content delivery networks, saviorism, Political activism, download speeds, Bulletin Board System (BBS), Web history, white pro-life evangelicalism, ethnographic methods, Digital humanities