The UCLA Journal of Gender & Law (formerly the UCLA Women's Law Journal), established in 1989, is dedicated to the critical analysis of gender as it is structured and reinforced by the law and legal institutions. Integral to this mission is the promotion of scholarship that attends to the ways that race, class, ability, sexuality, nationality, religion, and other forms of marginalization constitute and intersect with gender as a lived and legal reality. We strive to incorporate critiques of the law as a tool of oppression, as well as solutions for collective liberation that operate within and beyond the law.
Volume 29, Issue 1, 2022
Table of Contents
Free-Exercise Arguments for the Right to Abortion: Reimagining the Relationship Between Religion and Reproductive Rights
This Article traces the history of the claim that restrictions on abortion violate either the Free Exercise Clause or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This claim asserts that laws that ban or restrict access to abortion burden pregnant people’s ability to make reproductive decisions guided by their sincerely held religious beliefs or burden healthcare providers’ ability to provide abortion care as dictated by their religious beliefs. This Article argues that recovering this lost history reveals a dual erasure: erasure of the fact that faith motivates or even requires people to provide or obtain abortions and erasure of the decades-long legal claim that protecting the right to abortion is actually more consistent with religious-liberty principles than restricting it. There is a rich tradition of the clergy, the women’s movement, and religious organizations fusing free-exercise arguments with arguments about economic justice, dignity, and pregnant people’s ability to make choices about their lives and families.
In the face of state-by-state attacks on the right to choose, which result in regular challenges to Roe v. Wade in the U.S. Supreme Court, this essay asks whether Roe is needed at all. Decades of state law encroachments have caused Roe to fail to properly protect the right to choose. Building on prior works that challenge the premise of fetal personhood and highlighting the status of Roe-based rights after decades of challenges, this essay proposes an alternative solution to Roe. Federal legislative and executive efforts, including the Women’s Health Protection Act, are necessary to ensure the right to choose remains accessible to all pregnant persons.
This Article analyzes feminist activism in Argentina through the lens of the Ni Una Menos movement. This is not an exhaustive study of the Ni Una Menos movement or of feminist activism in Argentina. Instead, this Article provides a descriptive introduction to the movement and explores its aims. Additionally, focus on Ni Una Menos is not intended to diminish or ignore the importance and strength of other similar groups, but rather to paint a clear picture of the largest and most well-known feminist organization in Argentina in order to provide a descriptive account of the status of the women’s rights movement in the country. Indeed, many of the advocacy tactics Ni Una Menos uses are illustrative of the tactics used by many Argentine feminist groups, making it paradigmatic of the country’s feminist movement as a whole.
When examining the history and inception of this country, one will find that restricting and barring access to reproductive care and freedom was one of the original and primary tactics slave owners used to control enslaved peoples and their descendants.
Advocacy often boils down to messaging. It frankly doesn’t matter how right or wrong you are if you can persuade an audience on other grounds. There is no better persuasion tool than a child representative of a cause; children invoke a sense of vulnerability and a desire to protect that become stronger the younger the child is. Fetuses are the epitome of this phenomenon, making them the natural foundation for anti-abortion activists to base their messaging. This tactic has been frustratingly effective due to its tendency to shield unassuming and ambivalent individuals from the truth: those who oppose abortion do so out of a desire to exert control over an individual’s—usually a woman’s—body. If the façade of protecting children is stripped away, anti-abortion activism maintains its roots in denying individuals with uteruses full control over their bodies and reproduction.