Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

W.M. Keck Science Department

Reader 1

Elise Ferree

Reader 2

Alyssa Newman

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


In today’s debate over abortion, there are a multitude of additional factors to consider when restricting abortion for women of color and low-income women. The binary pro-life vs. pro-choice debate may seem like two clear-cut opposing sides, and many people find themselves agreeing firmly on one stance. However, these terms seek to implicitly portray the other stance unfavorably. Pro-life seems to imply that opponents are anti-life, or even “pro-death” and pro-choice insinuates that the opposition is “anti-choice” or favors coercion. The debate marginalizes women of color, poor women, and women from other marginalized communities because it does not take into account pre-existing conditions, such as financial incapability, harmful environmental factors and lack of social support, that restrict them from real choice to decide whether to have a child or have an abortion. Firstly, it is important to understand the complex issue of abortion in its procedure, its implications and its history in the United States, as well as the consequences upon denial of abortion and the effects of returning to a pre-Roe vs. Woe world. Abortion bans objectively affect low-income and women of color because of higher numbers of unwanted pregnancies, spatial inequalities to abortion access and its implicated costs, language barriers, financial difficulties and situational obstacles such as incarceration or environmental factors. In opposition to today’s abortion bans, it is important to get rid of the bans, prioritize women's health and work to create long-term solutions to combat economically and socially coerced abortions. We should work to reduce reasons for abortion, instead of criminalizing the procedure.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.