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Surprising Religious and Republican Roots to Planned Parenthood: An Arizona Case Study

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Planned Parenthood, one of the United States' largest providers of reproductive health services, has campaigned for decades to secure women's reproductive rights in the political sphere. However, few scholars have written on the social and political history that preceded the

Planned Parenthood, one of the United States' largest providers of reproductive health services, has campaigned for decades to secure women's reproductive rights in the political sphere. However, few scholars have written on the social and political history that preceded the general religious and Republican hostility toward the organization in the twenty-first century. Through Planned Parenthood's growth in the mid-twentieth century, both political parties and many religious organizations pushed for family planning and access to contraception as solutions to population growth and poverty. Arizona was used as a case study to examine the broader context of the shift in the ideas of political parties and religious organizations surrounding the reproductive rights movement from the start of the twentieth century until the 1980s. The historical trajectory of the shifting religious and political support for Planned Parenthood Arizona was demonstrated using both a literature review and archival research. Throughout the early 1900s, Republicans advocated for limited governmental intrusion into citizens' lives, which extended to women's reproduction, where contraception was seen as a private decision between a woman and her doctor. That changed in the late twentieth century when religious concerns exacerbated the political discussion following the legalization of abortion in 1973 and the appointment of Ronald Regan in 1981, one of the first outspoken pro-life presidents. Planned Parenthood faced increasing criticism from religious organizations and the Republican Party. The social and political history surrounding Planned Parenthood Arizona illustrates the interplay between politics and the reproductive rights movement throughout the twentieth century. The contextualization of major historical events during the development of Planned Parenthood Arizona gives insight into the current political and religious beliefs regarding the reproductive rights movement.

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2016-05

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The Dynamic Landscape of Abortion Law in the United States

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The Dynamic Landscape of Abortion Law in the United States explores the ways abortion laws have changed in the United States over the course of US history. Abortion laws in the US have historically been fluid, changing in ways both

The Dynamic Landscape of Abortion Law in the United States explores the ways abortion laws have changed in the United States over the course of US history. Abortion laws in the US have historically been fluid, changing in ways both big and small. Those changes can occur after advances in science, changes in understanding, or changes in public opinion. And there have been various periods in the history of the US where tolerance abortion waxed or waned, and common law reflected those attitudes. Roe v. Wade was a pivotal moment in the history of abortion law that accomplished much in the way of broadening women's access to abortions. But Roe v. Wade was not the beginning or the end of the fight for abortion rights in the US. There were legal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade and illegal abortions after. Roe v. Wade granted that women had a constitutional right to have an abortion but the ruling left the boundaries of that right somewhat undefined and most courtroom battles over abortion laws are fought over where a woman's right to an abortion ends and a States right to regulate and protect fetal life begin. Much change has occurred in abortion laws over the past 50 years, this thesis tracks those changes principally through Supreme Court Cases, such as United States v. Milan Vuitch, Roe v. Wade, and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood among others. The landscape of abortion law in the US continues to shift today, as recently as 2017 with Plowman v. FMCH cases were being heard in courts that wrought subtle yet important changes in abortion law.

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2018-05

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Apologia in German and Japanese Post-War Film: A Comparative Analysis of Exculpatory Discourses on the German and Japanese Military in World War II.

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In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies,

In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies, both emerged from the 20th Century as liberal, prosperous and free. Both made great strides well beyond the expectations of their occupiers, and rebounded from the overwhelming destruction of their national economies within a few short decades. While these changes have yielded dramatic results, the wartime period still looms large in their respective collective memories. Therefore, an ongoing and diverse dialectical process would engage the considerable popular, official, and intellectual energy of their post-war generations. In West Germany, the term Vergangenheitsbewältigung (VGB) emerged to describe a process of coming to terms with the past, while the Japanese chose kako no kokufuku to describe their similar historical sojourns. Although intellectuals of widely varying backgrounds in both nations made great strides toward making Japanese and German citizens cognizant of the roles that their militaries played in gruesome atrocities, popular cinematic productions served to reiterate older, discredited assertions of the fundamental honor and innocence of the average soldier, thereby nurturing a historically revisionist line of reasoning that continues to compete for public attention. All forms of media would play an important role in sustaining this “apologetic narrative,” and cinema, among the most popular and visible of these mediums, was not excluded from this. Indeed, films would play a unique recurring role, like rhetorical time capsules, in offering a sanitized historical image of Japanese and German soldiers that continues to endure in modern times. Nevertheless, even as West Germany and Japan regained their sovereignty and re-examined their pasts with ever greater resolution and insight, their respective film industries continued to “reset” the clock, and accentuated the visibility and relevancy of apologetic forces still in existence within both societies. However, it is important to note that, when speaking of “Germans” and “Japanese,” that they are not meant to be thought of as being uniformly of one mind or another. Rather, the use of these words is meant as convenient shorthand to refer to the dominant forces in Japanese and German civil society at any given time over the course of their respective post- war histories. Furthermore, references to “Germany” during the Cold War period are to be understood to mean the Federal Republic of Germany, rather than their socialist counterpart, the German Democratic Republic, a nation that undertook its own coming to terms with the past in an entirely distinct fashion.

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2012-12

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Dismantling Legal Constraints to Contraception in the 1900s

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In the late nineteenth century, the Comstock Act of 1873 made the distribution of contraception illegal and classified contraception as an obscenity. Reflecting the predominant attitude towards contraception at the time, the Comstock Act was the first federal anti-obscenity law

In the late nineteenth century, the Comstock Act of 1873 made the distribution of contraception illegal and classified contraception as an obscenity. Reflecting the predominant attitude towards contraception at the time, the Comstock Act was the first federal anti-obscenity law that targeted contraception. However, social acceptance of birth control changed at the turn of the twentieth century. In this thesis, I analyzed legislation, advocates, and literature pertinent to that social change to report on the events leading up to the decriminalization of contraception. Because of the complexity of social history, I used legislation and court cases to track pivotal movements that reflected a change in the accessibility and acceptability of birth control. I focused on the efforts of two prominent birth control advocates, Margaret Sanger and Mary Dennett, and analyzed the impact of their efforts in that social movement. I learned that they incited court cases that questioned the validity of the Comstock Act and helped influence societal acceptance of birth control. Through my research, I discovered that the medicalization of contraception influenced its decriminalization and acceptance by society.

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2017-05