By Rose Bowen

Recently, a 36-year-old Swedish woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy, making her the first woman to perform this feat with a transplanted uterus. The new mother, who has asked to remain anonymous, was told by her doctor that she did not have a womb when she was a teenager. In 2013, she became one of nine women to receive a transplanted uterus.

The success of this initial uterus transplant study raises the question of whether there are any moral or biological reasons why other people born without uteruses, such as men and transgender women, might not also receive such transplants. There do not seem to be any insuperable physiological barriers to conducting these procedures, and doctors believe that transplant pregnancy is not more risky than conventional pregnancy. Additionally, experts predict that there will be a ready supply of donor organs because post-menopausal women can donate.

Arguably, a man who identifies as a woman and is born without a uterus is not functionally different from a woman who is born without a uterus, so being born into a gendered body with which one does not identify should not be a reason for restricting opportunity to carry a child to term.

Many existing reproductive technologies were viewed as unethical when they were first introduced, but now they are largely accepted by most people. It is likely that uterus transplantation will not become very commonplace; instead it will be a niche reproductive technology sought by a handful of people. There seems to be no moral reason for denying the option of uterus transplantation to those seeking the procedure who are able to pay for it.

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