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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

Ending the 'Tyranny' of Pregnancy

Brigitte Gerstl, Luara Ferracioli, Mianna Lotz
Chaired by Kathryn MacKay
Sat 24 August 1:30pm
Sat 24 August 1:30pm
Decoding birth: Navigating artificial and transplanted Wombs.

Is the emergence of artificial wombs and womb transplants a ‘boon’ or a ‘bane’ for women? Explore the transformative possibilities for reproductive autonomy that could redefine the very essence of motherhood. 

Supported By

If gestation could take place outside the body, then perhaps a [person] only has a moral right to end the natural gestation, not to end the life of the foetus.
Luara Ferracioli

Brigitte Gerstl

Brigitte Gerstl is the program manager for the uterus transplant program at the Royal Hospital for Women (RHW). Brigitte played a pivotal role in establishing Australia’s first live donor uterus transplant research study program at the RHW, she is currently developing the deceased donor pathway within the program. In this role, she oversees patient screening, ethics, and governance, while also monitoring patient progress and clinical and psychosocial outcomes. Her involvement extends to several other women’s health initiatives, including the management of the Australian Endometriosis Clinicians Collaborative (AECC) research study, and endometriosis data linkage projects (EndoLinked). Additionally, she has significantly supported changes in the oncofertility landscape in Australia, contributing to the inclusion of fertility preservation services in Medicare through her work with FUTuRE Fertility, Australia’s first oncofertility research study program. She has published widely in women’s health, mental health and oncology, actively mentors and supervises medical students and researchers, reviews for several leading medical journals, and participates in numerous influential health groups.


Luara Ferracioli

Dr. Luara Ferracioli is Associate Professor in Political Philosophy at the University of Sydney. She is currently undertaking an ARC DECRA project entitled Life without Birth: The Ethics, Politics, and Law of Artificial Wombs. She grew up in Brazil but moved to Australia in 2006. Her main areas of research are the ethics of immigration and family justice. She is the author of Liberal Self-Determination in a World of Migration (New York: Oxford University Press, 2022), and Parenting and the Goods of Childhood (New York: Oxford University Press, 2023).


Mianna Lotz

Mianna Lotz (she/her) is an academic, ethics advisor, and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Macquarie University where she specialises in and teaches ethics and applied ethics with a research focus on emerging reproductive technologies, adoption, surgical innovation, family ethics, and the welfare and rights of children and parents. She is co-editor of two books, the most recent of which is Philosophies of Adoption: Reflections and Perspectives (2024). She is author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on the ethics of uterus transplantation, parents’ and children’s rights, cloning, and vulnerability, including in the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex (2022) and the Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Children and Childhood (2019). She was Chair of one of Macquarie University’s Research Ethics Committees from 2011–2023; is a current member and former Chair of the Data Security and Safety Board of Australia’s first uterus transplant trial (RHW, Randwick); member of the Uterus Transplant Advisory Group of the Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ); and member of the Ethics Committee of the International Society of Uterus Transplantation (ISUTx). In 2023 she was the recipient of the inaugural Macquarie University Research Excellence prize for Excellence in Research Integrity.


Kathryn MacKay

Kathryn MacKay is a Senior Lecturer at Sydney Health Ethics. Kathryn’s background is in philosophy and bioethics, and her research involves examining issues of human flourishing at the intersection of ethics, feminist theory, and political philosophy. Kathryn’s research is mainly focussed on developing a theory of virtue for public health ethics, and on the ethics of public health communication. She is currently writing a book about public health virtue ethics. In 2024, Kathryn was a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.

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24 August
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