Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Dr. Lise Schreier

Second Advisor

Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D.


Abortion is one of the most pertinent issues to women’s health and reproductive rights. This paper aims first to provide the historical and legal context for abortion laws in both France and the United States, examining each country separately to understand the legal progression of abortion rights since the nineteenth century. This paper will then discuss the activism and advocacy for abortion and women’s rights in each country from the nineteenth century on, demonstrating how this led to the passing of abortion rights legislation in each country. Lastly, this paper will focus on differences in politics, religion, women’s rights, and women’s health between the two countries to analyze how their perspectives differ and why abortion laws have become what they are today. Overall, this paper demonstrates that abortion is an essential right for women all over the world, and that through looking at these two countries it is clear why abortion must be free, safe, and legal rather than continuing to be restricted.