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Can abortion rights be integrated into the Women, Peace and Security agenda?

Author(s): Jennifer Thomson, Claire Pierson

In: International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol 20, No 3, 2018, pp. 350-365

Reproductive rights are an under-theorised aspect of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda as UN Security Council resolutions (e.g. UNSC resolution 1325) demonstrate. Yet reproductive rights are central to women’s security, health and human rights. Although they feature in the 2015 Global Study on UNSC resolution 1325, there is less reference to reproductive rights, and to abortion specifically, neither in the text of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions themselves, nor in the National Action Plans (NAPs, policy documents created by individual countries to outline their implementation plans for 1325). Through content analysis of all resolutions and NAPs produced to date, this article asks where abortion is in the WPS agenda. It argues that the growing centrality of the WPS agenda to women’s rights in transitioning societies means that a lack of focus on abortion will marginalize the topic and stifle the development of liberal legalization.