Jennifer Donnally

  • Fellowship year:2012-2013
  • University: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Dissertation Topic/Category: United States
  • Dissertation Title: The Politics of Abortion and the Rise of the New Right, 1967 to 1992.
  •  My dissertation argues that the pro-life movement and the New Right linked abortion to voters' reactions against civil rights, feminism and the expansion of welfare in a larger conservative turn in America.  Using Kansas, North Carolina and Massachusetts as case studies, I examine how conservative politicians, ministers and pro-life activists formed alliances that responded to specific local, state and national contexts.  My argument draws from over forty oral interviews with pro-life activists from the local to national leadership, activists' personal papers and 16 different archives ranging from presidential libraries to women's history collections.  My study also answers recent calls by American political historians for more scholarship on sexuality and conservatism as well as the 1970s and 1980s by illuminating connections between racial and sexual politics, religious conservatives and the economic Right.  I ask how and why a politician's stance toward a woman's reproductive choice become a campaign litmus test?  What impact did that development have on American culture and politics?