TARGETED REGULATION OF ABORTION PROVIDER LAWS: HOW BURDENSOME RESTRICTIONS IMPACT ABORTION ACCESSIBILITY

Open Access
Author:
Reeves, Erica Nicole
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Erin Allyson Heidt-Forsythe, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • TRAP laws
  • Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws
  • abortion access
  • abortion clinics
  • abortion rate
Abstract:
After the legalization of abortion on the federal level in 1973, states have scrambled to retain control over women’s access to abortion. One way state governments have succeeded in limiting accessibility is through the enactment of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws (TRAP laws). These laws specifically target providers of abortion, with the expressed intent to make the procedure safer, but with the underlying goal to make accessibility more difficult and even shut down clinics. This thesis addresses how states with TRAP laws differ in abortion accessibility from those which do not have TRAP laws. Accessibility, for the purpose of this thesis, is operationalized as abortion rate, number of abortion clinics, and percent of counties within a state that have no clinics. This paper also analyzes how the number and type of TRAP laws impact the components of abortion accessibility. This study shows the negative impact that TRAP laws can have on the percent of counties within a state that have no clinics, how the number of TRAP law implemented can negatively impact the percent of counties within a state that have no clinics, and how the party control of state government impacts accessibility. Another important result was the negative impact of poverty levels on accessibility. The findings of this thesis show how the burdensome restrictions of TRAP laws can lead to a decline of accessibility for women. TRAP laws are becoming increasingly widespread yet are being passed under false pretenses. While proponents of these laws claim the restrictions need to be enacted in order to make facilities safer for women, their true effect is limiting abortion access.