UMass Boston

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Abortion Regret: The New Attack on Reproductive Freedom

Professor Shoshanna Ehrlich is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Abortion Regret: The New Attack on Reproductive Freedom with Alesha Doan of ABC CLIO. Their project focuses on the emergence and consolidation of abortion regret as a socially constructed framing strategy used by the antiabortion movement to restrict women’s control over their reproductive bodies. It contends that the invention of abortion regret is more than a rhetorical strategy, but represents the most successful grassroots antiabortion mobilization strategy that has emerged since the brash clinic protests of the 1990s. The focus on regret has armed the antiabortion movement with a unifying and compelling woman-centered narrative. The Supreme Court’s recent legitimation of this narrative has since emboldened activists to seek the codification of regret-based laws in order to limit women’s access to abortion for their own purported benefit. By unpacking the origin and consolidation of the emergent discourse, this research project examines the implications of re-institutionalizing a legal and cultural narrative of women that demands the state intervene to protect them from their own incapacities in order to reconstruct a gendered order of family and social life.

Maternal Mortality in Tanzania

In the study “Examining Challenges and Barriers to Reducing Maternal Mortality and Improving Women’s Health among the Poor and Geographically Disadvantageous Areas of Tanzania,” PhD student Prisca Tarimo is using  a human rights-based approach to explore the barriers related to the district health system and other social, economic and cultural factors that impede the achievement of equitable maternal health outcomes in the Ngorongoro district, in Northern Tanzania.  Her study will also examine the extent to which the current national and district-level health strategies, policies and programs, including those specific to maternal and women’s reproductive health, have been translated into practice to equitably benefit women.

Human Rights at UMass Boston

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125