Contest: Birthing Rights and Challenging VBAC Bans
NAPW Law Student Writing Competition 2008-2009 Academic School Year. $1,000 first prize
Issues of concern to pregnant and birthing women have often been missing from discussion in law school courses and among reproductive rights activists. Thanks in large part to public education efforts by writers, filmmakers, and community activists, there is an unprecedented amount of attention and momentum surrounding the rights of pregnant and birthing women. To advance these efforts further, NAPW has developed two writing contests. NAPW and numerous Co-Sponsors and Supporters (to be announced) hope that these contests will leverage the enthusiasm and creativity of a new generation of feminist legal scholars and spark critical thinking about the need to address childbirth and birthing rights as constitutional and human rights issues.
The first contest asks for a critical analysis of the absence of birthing rights issues from gender discrimination and feminist jurisprudence textbooks and curricula (in fact, none of the top three casebooks used in law school courses dedicated to gender and the law address the issue of childbirth or midwifery). The second contest asks students to develop legal theories that can be used to challenge policies banning pregnant women from having a vaginal birth after a prior caesarean section (VBAC). This topic will encourage students to address a growing problem that has received very little attention from the feminist legal community both in academia and within the leading women’s rights legal advocacy organizations.
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