Date of Degree

9-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Advisor

Dagmar Herzog

Subject Categories

Women's Studies

Keywords

Abortion. Feminist. Anti-abortion.

Abstract

While women in Haiti obtained important changes in discriminatory laws after the end of the Duvalier era, other issues remained unresolved. Haiti is amongst six countries in the Caribbean and Latin America that criminalize abortion. This does not prevent women from practicing abortion at very high risks: it is estimated that a third of the maternal deaths are due to abortions in the country. The January 2010 earthquake killed thousands of people and feminist leaders were also victims. How did feminist activists continue the work to legalize abortion after this event? How are they perceived in the media? This paper looks at the oldest newspaper in Haiti, Le Nouvelliste, from the year 2010 to 2019, studying discourses and opinions on feminists and their fight for the legalization of abortion. Searches were done using the online search engine of Le Nouvelliste's website. Publications from AlterPresse for specific dates related to abortion are used to complete data from Le Nouvelliste. Doing a content analysis, eighteen articles were examined looking at pro-abortions arguments and arguments against abortion. Five articles were op-eds of authors against abortion, using medical and legal arguments. The anti-feminist discourse presents abortion as an imported women rights issue. Three articles were investigation done by journalists with testimonies of women who had abortions, their families, professionals and non-professionals who practice abortions. Eight articles were reports of events related to the subject: presentation of a new bill and advocacy activities. The two main arguments presented to defend legalization of abortion are the public health argument and women’s right to dispose of their own bodies. Two articles are a question and answer with a lawyer about a new bill that will partially decriminalize abortion.

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