chapter  26
8 Pages

Human Rights and the Politics of Risk and Blame

Recent debates about the “politicization” of public health obscure the ways in which epidemiological concepts of risk are routinely used in the legal and political systems to apportion blame and responsibility for poor health. This chapter uses the example of reproductive health and rights to argue that new understandings of the connection between socioeconomic conditions and poor health will only generate change when they are reframed into political claims and pressed by social movements. In this connection, human rights language, principles, and practice hold great potential for the US reproductive rights movement, which has sometimes been constrained by the narrow scope of court rulings.