Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dionne Bensonsmith


For this thesis, I explore the following research questions: How did primary actors such as the activists and scholars within the Progressive Maternity and Reproductive Justice movements use and construct maternal and gender identities within their respective movements? What are the policy implications for building coalitions around gender and motherhood? I argue that the Progressive Maternity movement embraces motherhood as an identity by which we coalesce and create policy, while the Reproductive Justice movement has a nuanced understanding of motherhood and gender, with a rejection of the notion that citizenship is contingent on motherhood at the center of their political agenda. I conclude that Progressive Maternity makes motherhood conditional on cultural conformity, and is thus inaccessible for marginalized persons, while Reproductive Justice entitles marginalized persons to opportunity, access, and participation, and thus has a wider reach and impact on our diverse society.