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March 30, 2006

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

Online Debate: Prof. John Robertson Debates Sex Selection Laws and Ethics

AUSTIN, Texas — This week the Legal Affairs Debate Club has invited Professor John Robertson, who holds the Vinson & Elkins Chair in Law, and who specializes in law and bioethics to debate the ethics and legalities of sex selection with Barbara Katz Rothman, a professor of sociology in the Ph.D. program of the City University of New York, and author of such books as Recreating Motherhood and the Tentative Pregnancy.

For a link to the ongoing debate, see

Professor Robertson argues that non-medical sex selection for second and subsequent children should be recognized as an aspect of the reproductive rights recognized by the Supreme Court, and that choice of a child's sex is consistent with full protection of women's rights in other areas. Professor Rothman believes that sex selection practices are inherently sexist, and that encouraging them will further reify the significance of sex in society and make it harder to realize equal rights for women.

About the Legal Affairs Debate Club

More than a year ago, Legal Affairs magazine launched the online feature Debate Club ( where top legal scholars and practitioners hash out current issues in the law in week-long debates. The Debate Club has attracted Richard Posner, Geof Stone, Sandy Levinson (UT Law), Brian Leiter (UT Law), Eugene Volokh, and Jack Balkin, among others to engage in an a debate with four to five postings a weeks with an invited scholar who has an opposite point of view.

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About Prof. John Robertson: