Announcing NAPW's 2011 Writing Contest Winners

August 02, 2011

National Advocates for Pregnant Women and our contest cosponsors are proud to announce the winners of our second law student writing competition.

This year, the contest asked law students to critically analyze the absence of birthing rights issues from gender discrimination and feminist jurisprudence textbooks and curricula. Reproductive justice groups are increasingly recognizing women’s right to dignity and medical autonomy during childbirth within the scope of their advocacy. Meanwhile, birth activists are increasingly making connections between their issues and other reproductive justice issues, such as targeted regulation of both birthing centers and abortion providers, or the unsubstantiated claims by state legislatures that women seeking abortions are denied informed consent while it is women who carry to term who report that they were not given informed consent or even underwent procedures they explicitly refused.

Feminist jurisprudence, however, has some catching up to do. Our purpose in creating the writing contest is twofold: first, to introduce law students to issues in the law that they may not be familiar with, and second, to create a body of legal scholarship on these issues that can be used by advocates and cited by courts.

We are extremely proud of this year’s winners, and hope that they will continue to advocate on behalf of women during pregnancy and childbirth. The winners are:


Rebecca Spence, Abandoning Women to Their Rights: What Happens When Feminist Jurisprudence Ignores Birthing Rights


Claire Sharples Brooks, Laboring Under the Misconception of Rights: The Need for Legal Education on the Rights Surrounding Childbirth


Kirsten Hiera, Human Rights Implications of Obstetrical Interventions