Tactile Crease

The Embodiment of Anti-IVF Discourses in Poland

in Ethnologia Europaea
Ewa Maciejewska-Mroczek University of Warsaw emaciejewska@uw.edu.pl

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In Poland, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often a contested procedure, as it is not accepted by Catholic bioethics. This rejection mobilizes a wide range of views and arguments about IVF, some of which circulate only in the local discourse. A very potent local concept is the “tactile crease” (bruzda dotykowa) that is said to mark the foreheads of children conceived with IVF. This term, coined in 2013 by a priest who is also a professor of law, represents one way in which the political discourse shapes the imagined body of the Other. In this paper, the analysis of the origins and resonance of the “tactile crease” in the Polish public discourse is confronted with the results of anthropological research among children conceived with IVF and their families.

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