Marlene Fried

Professor Emerita of Philosophy
Hampshire Professor Marlene Gerber Fried
Contact Marlene

Marlene Fried
413.549.4600

Marlene Gerber Fried, professor emerita of philosophy received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University. In 2010-2011, she was Interim President of Hampshire College.

Her scholarship and teaching is focused primarily on abortion rights and access, reproductive and sexual rights and health, and legal theory. She edited From Abortion Rights to Reproductive Freedom: Transforming A Movement, is co-author with Jael Silliman, Loretta Ross, and Elena GutiƩrrez of Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, November, 2004 (awarded the Myers Outstanding Book Award by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights), and co-authored the chapter on abortion in the 2005 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

She is also a long-time reproductive rights activist, and was the founding president and served for 21 years on the board of the National Network of Abortion Funds. She was also the founding president and continues to serve on the board of the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts. She also works on abortion advocacy internationally with the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights.

She is a recipient of the 2014 Felicia Stewart Advocacy Award as well as the Warrior Women Award from SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Abortion rights continue to be contested in the U.S. and throughout the world. Since it was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, there have been significant erosions in abortion rights and access, and today, legal abortion itself is facing direct challenges from state laws, some of which are already slated to be heard by the Supreme Court. Harassment of abortion clinics, providers, and clinic personnel by opponents of abortion is routine, and there have been several instances of deadly violence. This course examines abortion politics in the U.S. before before legalization to the present. We view the abortion battle in the U.S. in the wider framework of reproductive justice. Specific topics of inquiry include: abortion worldwide, coercive contraception and sterilization abuse, welfare rights, population control, incarceration and reproduction, and the criminalization of pregnancy. We explore the ethical, political and legal dimensions of the issue and investigate anti-abortion organizing and the resistance to it from the abortion rights and reproductive justice movements.

  • This course explores past and current debates over the role of religion and science in public policy, specifically in the areas reproductive rights, health and justice. We look both at claims that science and religion are inevitably in conflict, as well as arguments for their compatibility. Topics may include: claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer and causes a form of post-traumatic stress disorder; the refusal of some public officials to issue marriage licenses to people who identify as LBGTQ; the debates over public funding for abstinence-only sexuality education, and coverage of abortion and contraception in the Affordable Care Act. We will look at these issues in the context of broader societal debates over the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public schools and challenges to claims about the objectivity of science. Keywords:reproductive health, rights, science, religion