TitleThe Woman-State conflict
NameRoberti, Amanda M. (author), Josephson, Jyl (chair), Swarts, Heidi (internal member), Fischer, Frank (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Reproductive rights--United States,
Abortion—Government policy--United States,
Pro-life movement--United States,
Women's rights--United States
DescriptionReproductive rights have been historically steeped in “moral” discourse. The “morality” involves anti-choice policy makers and interest groups taking a protectionist standpoint for the fetus, or “unborn child” by purporting that it is a living person. However noble a cause this may seem, the passing of restrictive reproductive rights policy under the “moral” guise has devastating effects on women. These effects are telling of an underlying cause of the anti-choice movement – one that involves removing women from reproductive responsibilities and processes, thus chipping away at individual liberties, citizenship and bodily autonomy. This paper asserts that the fetus is misappropriated by policy makers and ideological anti-choice groups as a tactical pawn to perpetuate control over women’s reproductive choices. This paper focuses on the seven U.S. states with the most restrictive reproductive rights policies—Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota— using an analysis of the language of their policies and pending legislation. Findings demonstrate that anti-choice groups and policy makers forward a normative social construction of women in discourse and images and attempt to make restrictive legislation more acceptable to the polity. Furthermore, findings show that the anti-choice narrative of fetal personhood is a pretense for enacting state-mandated control over women’s reproductive choices. This work supports a growing field of research on reproductive rights policy, as well as provides an analytical approach to how theory underlies policy.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Amanda M. Roberti
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.