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Myths about Women's RightsHow, Where, and Why Rights Advance$
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Feryal M. Cherif

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190211172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190211172.001.0001

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The Path Toward Reproductive Choice

The Path Toward Reproductive Choice

(p.114) 6 The Path Toward Reproductive Choice
Myths about Women's Rights

Feryal M. Cherif

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the status of women’s reproductive rights by investigating abortion laws and family planning rights across countries. While the conventional wisdom holds that religious norms strongly influence the level of reproductive choice that states afford, there have been remarkable advances in women’s rights across countries of various cultural and religious backgrounds. To what extent do religion and culture, international norms-building, and core rights influence women’s reproductive rights? While religious and cultural norms shape abortion policy, they have little to no effect on women’s exercise of their family planning rights. Further, though women’s rights treaties and organizations appear to improve the level of reproductive autonomy states afford, reproductive rights depend much more centrally on the status of core rights, especially education.

Keywords:   reproductive rights, abortion, family planning, religious norms, core rights, women’s rights organizations, international norms, education

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