Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program

Sociology; Gender and Sexuality Studies

Project Advisor 1

Yuval Elmelech

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This paper is an exploration of the links between conceptions of womanhood, motherhood, and abortion discourse. I examine this link through a case study on Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are faith-based organizations that aim to intervene in abortion decisions. This case study is rooted in a theoretical framework that posits abortion restrictions as upholding a traditionalistic version of womanhood that centers femininity around motherhood. I find that Crisis Pregnancy Center representatives hold a gender essentialist worldview that defines womanhood as related to innate traits of care-taking, selflessness, and nonviolence, and defines motherhood as instinctual for women. I conclude that this worldview aligns with American hegemonic femininity, and cannot coexist with the belief that women can have abortions without psychological or spiritual repercussions.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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