Body Politics I: Reproductive Rights Policy

Amy G. Mazur

in Theorizing Feminist Policy

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780199246724
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599859 | DOI:

Series: Gender and Politics

 Body Politics I: Reproductive Rights Policy

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In the first section, the analysis defines the general feminist aims and parameters of the first type of Body Politics Policy: Reproductive Rights Policy. It then discusses the range and timing of policies found in the 13 countries and closes with a discussion of the criteria for selecting the four policy cases covered in the chapter. Body Politics policy seeks to improve the status and situation of women by focusing on their biological distinctiveness and the social construction of their sexuality, often in the context of women's bodies being the object of men's desire, control, and violence. Reproductive rights policies seek to provide optimal situations for women to choose if and when to have children. In the second section, the results of the analysis of the policy case literature on the dynamics of feminist policy formation is presented for the following four cases: The 1978 Abortion Law in Norway; Abortion Reform in the Netherlands Since 1973; US Abortion Reform Since 1978; and The 1978 Abortion Law in Italy. The analysis concludes that the most important factors in determining feminist policy success in this particular sub‐sector of feminist policy may be religion and the territorial distribution of policy‐making power.

Keywords: abortion; body politics; feminist policy; Italy; Netherlands; Norway; policy‐making power; religion; reproductive rights; USA

Chapter.  8067 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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