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Abortion policy in the fifty states: A comparative analysis

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Date Issued:
1991
Summary:
This study investigates the influence of state characteristics, socioeconomic, cultural and political, on the variation of abortion legislation and accessibility in the American states. State discretion in abortion issues, historically and including the present time, has resulted in a lack of uniformity of regulations in the 50 states and a wide variance of accessibility to abortion services across the nation. Although abortion is considered one of the most divisive and controversial policy issues, it has largely been neglected in the literature as a public policy study at the state level. Therefore, a systematic and empirical basis for explaining the variance in abortion laws and accessibility is also lacking in the research. This study attempts to fill in that gap and the results of the analysis of the data reveals several important findings. First, there is little indication that accessibility is related to state legislation on abortion. Second, the measures for current legislation are not highly correlated. Each policy appears to be a separate issue for state legislators. Third, socioeconomic characteristics, as expected, are important to the pre-Roe measures of legislation and abortion rates. These characteristics are also important to recent abortion rates, Medicaid funding for abortions, and service provision. However, certain political variables, in particular public opinion/ideology, are also important to the variance of current measures. Fourth, traditional state characteristics do not explain the variance in two of the legislative variables included in the study--the number of post-Roe restrictions passed and parental notification/consent requirements. And last, religion, as measured by denominations or religious groups with an anti-abortion platform, does not play an important role in explaining variation in abortion laws or accessibility, contrary to the predictions. A larger percentage of Catholics is associated with increased service provision and less restrictive Medicaid funding for abortions. Fundamentalists are not important to the variation of either legislation or accessibility. This finding, in particular, is in contrast to not only the predictions of this study but also to the popular beliefs and assertions on the subject.
Title: Abortion policy in the fifty states: A comparative analysis.
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Name(s): Parsons, Sharon Kay
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Pritchard, Anita, Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 1991
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 190 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This study investigates the influence of state characteristics, socioeconomic, cultural and political, on the variation of abortion legislation and accessibility in the American states. State discretion in abortion issues, historically and including the present time, has resulted in a lack of uniformity of regulations in the 50 states and a wide variance of accessibility to abortion services across the nation. Although abortion is considered one of the most divisive and controversial policy issues, it has largely been neglected in the literature as a public policy study at the state level. Therefore, a systematic and empirical basis for explaining the variance in abortion laws and accessibility is also lacking in the research. This study attempts to fill in that gap and the results of the analysis of the data reveals several important findings. First, there is little indication that accessibility is related to state legislation on abortion. Second, the measures for current legislation are not highly correlated. Each policy appears to be a separate issue for state legislators. Third, socioeconomic characteristics, as expected, are important to the pre-Roe measures of legislation and abortion rates. These characteristics are also important to recent abortion rates, Medicaid funding for abortions, and service provision. However, certain political variables, in particular public opinion/ideology, are also important to the variance of current measures. Fourth, traditional state characteristics do not explain the variance in two of the legislative variables included in the study--the number of post-Roe restrictions passed and parental notification/consent requirements. And last, religion, as measured by denominations or religious groups with an anti-abortion platform, does not play an important role in explaining variation in abortion laws or accessibility, contrary to the predictions. A larger percentage of Catholics is associated with increased service provision and less restrictive Medicaid funding for abortions. Fundamentalists are not important to the variation of either legislation or accessibility. This finding, in particular, is in contrast to not only the predictions of this study but also to the popular beliefs and assertions on the subject.
Identifier: 12285 (digitool), FADT12285 (IID), fau:9188 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 1991.
Subject(s): Women's Studies
Political Science, General
Political Science, Public Administration
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12285
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.