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TRAP Abortion Laws and Partisan Political Party Control of State Government



Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (or TRAP) laws impose medically unnecessary and burdensome regulations solely on abortion providers in order to make abortion services more expensive and difficult to obtain. Using event history analysis, this article examines the determinants of the enactment of a TRAP law by states over the period 1974–2008. The empirical results find that Republican institutional control of a state's legislative/executive branches is positively associated with a state enacting a TRAP law, while Democratic institutional control is negatively associated with a state enacting a TRAP law. The percentage of a state's population that is Catholic, public anti-abortion attitudes, state political ideology, and the abortion rate in a state are statistically insignificant predictors of a state enacting a TRAP law. The empirical results are consistent with the hypothesis that abortion is a redistributive issue and not a morality issue.

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