Am I not a woman even when I am pregnant?: An analysis of the development of fetal rights in policy documents in Europe and how pregnant women are fetal containers and second-class citizens

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on the development of fetal rights in policy documents in Europe and how fetal rights and the protection of fetal life can be a part of the discussion of how pregnant women are associated with being “fetal containers” and(/or) “second-class citizens”. The study aims to identify different articles and paragraphs in policy documents that can identify the connection between fetal rights and pregnancy rights and how pregnant women are “fetal containers” and(/or) “second-class citizens”. The thesis will also answer how both biopower and biopolitics exist in the EU-member countries (Ireland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland) regulations about fetal rights and women’s obligation in society to reproduce humankind. The empirical findings are based on different policy documents related to fetal rights, pregnancy rights and the termination of pregnancy, in either their constitution or in other policy documents or both. The qualitative research has been conducted through Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). It uses the concepts of biopower and biopolitics as theoretical frameworks and the central concepts of “fetal containers” and “second-class citizens”. Through the empirical findings and the analysis of the policy documents, the study identified how pregnant women are associated with being both “fetal containers” and “second-class citizens” in the analysed countries. Since the regulations of fetal rights in the different policy documents indicate that the states have biological control over human life, especially concerning women and pregnant women in relation to the propagation and the protection of fetal life. Although, how much regulatory control and how the state controls depend on the state’s development of fetal rights in the respective countries legal system.

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