Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Human Rights Studies and Public Policy and Law
Human rights advocates often argue their primary power is that claiming them and deploying human rights rhetoric adds legitimacy and authority to a cause. Yet our understanding of if, how, and why human rights language is used in the political struggle for equality is incomplete. In this thesis I examine the key question of the use of human rights rhetoric and claiming by activists and governmental actors via the struggle for reproductive rights, especially for access to abortion. Through a comparative case study of the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany, this paper finds that legislative bodies tend to utilize fundamental rights language, while abortion rights activists center their arguments using human rights language. However, the Netherlands offers a partial exception in the way its members of parliament so concretely take a stance on abortion not only as a fundamental right, but a human right as well.
Ostrowitz-Levine, Esme, "How Activist Groups Use Human Rights Rhetoric in the Fight for Reproductive Rights and Abortion: The Cases of The United States, Germany, and The Netherlands". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2023.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/1026