RUB Research School

Disability-Selective-Abortion in International Human Rights Law – Stereotypes and Stereotyping under Art. 8 CRPD

The research project

Worldwide, national legislation on the termination of pregnancy abounds in laws differentiating between foetuses with or without disability, providing for Disability-Selective-Abortion (DSA). This research project delves into the complex and contentious issue of DSA through the lens of international human rights law, with a particular focus on the implications of stereotypes and stereotyping as outlined in Article 8(1)(b) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The research examines the legal admissibility of DSA by exploring and analysing its intersection with women's reproductive rights and the rights of persons with disabilities. To this end, this research project will mirror a recent shift in the argumentation against DSA, emphasizing its impact on the rights and interests of persons already born with disabilities rather than on potential rights of the unborn. Thus, examining the legal implications of harmful stereotypes and wrongful stereotyping of persons with disabilities as a human rights issue as anchored in Art. 8(1)(b) CRPD in the context of DSA will be the core research focus of this project.

This requires a thorough understanding of international human rights law. To achieve comprehensive and universal results, the project must engage with scholarly work, jurisprudence, and domestic legislation from various regions of the world to identify commonalities and differences. When analysing the normative content of international human rights treaties ratified by numerous states, it is important to consider regional peculiarities to ensure that the assessment is not solely influenced by the 'familiar' human rights system.

What I need the IRB for

The IRB will allow me to conduct research stays in regions with different human rights systems, to explore the differences and similarities, and to expand my research network beyond Europe. At the same time, it will allow me to present, discuss and critically reflect on my research with colleagues from around the world in order to achieve a truly international understanding of the law. In short, the IRB is going to help me to become an international lawyer who conducts research truly internationally.