My University of Virginia “Taboo Trades” Podcast on the “My Body, My Choice” Principle and its Implications

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I took questions from University of Virginia law Prof. Kim Krawiec and a group of UVA law students.

Ilya Somin |

(Public Domain)

I recently did a podcast on the “My Body, My Choice” principle, as part of the University of Virginia “Taboo Trades” podcast series, run by UVA law Professor Kim Krawiec. I took questions on a variety of topics from Prof. Krawiec and a group of UVA law students. They raised many insightful points. Listeners can judge my answers for themselves. The podcast audio is available here.

Here is the description:

On this episode, George Mason Law’s Ilya Somin joins me and UVA Law students Joseph Camano (’24) and Dennis Ting (’24) to discuss the full implications of “My Body, My Choice.” Somin argues that the principle has implications that go far beyond abortion (including paying kidney donors, and abolishing the draft and mandatory jury service) and that both liberals and conservatives are inconsistent in their application.

Prof. Krawiec helpfully included a list of links to relevant writings by the two of us, that address issues raised in the podcast:

Ilya Somin, Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter (Stanford University Press, revised and expanded second edition, 2016)

Ilya Somin,  Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2020, revised and expanded edition, 2022)

Ilya Somin, A Broader Perspective on “My Body, My Choice”

Ilya Somin, Are Abortion Bans Takings?

Ilya Somin, Markets with Just a Few Limits

Ilya Somin, review of Cass Sunstein’s book Too Much Information:

Ilya Somin, “Warning About Government Warnings”:

Kim Krawiec, personal webpage and University of Virginia Law School webpage

Krawiec, Kimberly D. “Markets, repugnance, and externalities.” Journal of Institutional Economics (2022): 1-12.

Healy, Kieran, and Kimberly D. Krawiec. “Repugnance management and transactions in the body.” American Economic Review 107.5 (2017): 86-90.

Krawiec, Kimberly D. “No Money Allowed.” U. Chi. Legal F. (2022): 221.

Cook, Philip J., and Kimberly D. Krawiec. “A primer on kidney transplantation: anatomy of the shortage.” Law & Contemp. Probs. 77 (2014): 1.

Cook, Philip J., and Kimberly D. Krawiec. “If We Allow Football Players and Boxers to Be Paid for Entertaining the Public, Why Don’t We Allow Kidney Donors to Be Paid for Saving Lives.” Law & Contemp. Probs. 81 (2018): 9.

I particularly recommend Krawiec’s excellent article (coauthored with Philip J. Cook) arguing that, if we are willing to pay people to play dangerous sports, such as football, we should also legalize organ markets. I have made similar points myself, but not in as much depth and detail.

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