Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Sara Hayden

Commitee Members

Janet Finn, Steve Schwarze


ideograph, ideology, immigrants, Latinas, reproductive justice, choice, social movements


University of Montana


This investigation explores the rhetorical evolution of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. The author argues that the rhetors of the reviewed texts reveal the organization’s dual goals of both altering and resonating with the values and attitudes of Latinas regarding their concerns, as well as the necessity of combating systemic barriers and oppressive dominant ideology hindering Latinas’ ability to exercise a full range of choices. Although this two-fold purpose is persistent throughout the artifacts, as the Latina Institute embraces the language of reproductive justice, the agency gradually shifts its rhetorical efforts from addressing internal issues directed toward its constituency to outward concerns seeking to alter the dominant societal structure. This study also uncovers that reproductive justice must be a precondition for real choices to exist. As such, choice emerges as a secondary language term that functions as an outcome of reproductive freedom. Furthermore, the Latina Institute’s rhetoric suggests that abortion rights, choice, reproductive freedom, and reproductive justice can and must expand to encapsulate a comprehensive agenda capable of capturing the diverse needs of Latinas and immigrant Latinas living in the United States. Although these language terms possess sufficient mutability to encompass a wide-reaching agenda, it is imperative that they be employed strategically, as rhetors consider audience and associated ideologies. Finally, this inquiry argues that while a comprehensive approach to movement-building is often essential for meeting the intersectional needs of marginalized women, at times it may be necessary to center efforts on a particular issue in response to key exigencies necessitating change.



© Copyright 2011 Kathleen Maire de Onis