Publication Date

April 2018

Advisor(s)

Liza Williams

Major

Government

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis explores the influence of U.S. political elites and special interest groups on the reproduction of Mexican-origin people both within the United States and Mexico. I studied reproductive rights as a human right which demands both non-interference from the government and the provision of favorable conditions to guarantee the exercise of reproductive choice. I then compare domestic policy that affects Mexican reproduction with foreign population control policy. I find that foreign policy uses more overt anti-abortion language and singles out Mexico as the target of population reduction programs. Meanwhile, domestic policy methods of controlling Mexican reproduction take the form of intentional policy side effects which do not explicitly refer to Mexico but primarily and negatively affect those of Mexican descent. Finally, I determine that political elites and special interest groups do not represent public opinion and yet co-opt the policy-making process. Indeed, I conclude that reforms to the policy-making process are needed to enhance democratic authority and protect reproductive autonomy as a human right.

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