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Abstract

Few principles are as universally accepted in legal scholarship today, but

based on such scant support, as the fundamental nature and broad scope

of the right to procreate. What is perceived as a vague but nonetheless

justified legal and moral interest to procreate freely without regard to

others is, upon closer examination, based on little more than misconstrued

or inapposite case precedent and blurry statements in non-binding

sources of international law. By relying on this authority, conflating

procreation with conceptually distinguishable behaviors, presuming its

intrinsic value, and ignoring competing rights and duties, lawyers have

largely overlooked procreation and its legal and normative limits.

Interpreting U.S. constitutional and international law sources, and

finally employing Locke's model of natural rights, this Article redefines

the right in law and practice as satiable and narrow, acknowledging the

competing rights and duties that both qualify and justify the right. It

posits that the procreative right, properly stated, includes at least the act

of replacing oneself and at most procreation up to a point that optimizes

the public good.

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