*Direct correspondence to Laura Hussey, Department of Political Science, UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. I will share data and coding information with anyone wishing to replicate this study. I thank Jim Gimpel, Geoff Layman, Mark Lopez, Eric Uslaner, and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. I am also grateful to Lawrence Finer, Ted Joyce, Joe Landrum, Evelyn Mills, Stephanie Ventura, and Aaron Yelowitz for providing some of the data used in this study, and to Dave Marcotte and Thomas Plümper for answering a few of my questions along the way. Any errors I may have made, though, are entirely my own.
Welfare Generosity, Abortion Access, and Abortion Rates: A Comparison of State Policy Tools*
Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2010
© 2010 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 91, Issue 1, pages 266–283, March 2010
How to Cite
Hussey, L. S. (2010), Welfare Generosity, Abortion Access, and Abortion Rates: A Comparison of State Policy Tools. Social Science Quarterly, 91: 266–283. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00692.x
- Issue online: 11 JAN 2010
- Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2010
Objective. This article tests if welfare generosity is related to abortion rates, allowing effects to vary by program type and abortion policy context.
Methods. Measuring welfare generosity with respect to cash assistance, family caps, Medicaid, child care and family leave policies, I estimate fixed effects models of abortion rates in 48 U.S. states over 1987–2000.
Results. More expansive family leave laws are associated with lower abortion rates. In states that do not enforce any of three key abortion policies, increased Medicaid eligibility and child care spending predict higher abortion rates. For Medicaid, this relationship diminishes and reverses itself as states add abortion regulations.
Conclusion. Welfare state expansions may help reduce abortion, but programs' effects are not unambiguously pro-natalist. Estimated impacts of welfare generosity on abortion rates vary by program, and some with abortion policy context.