Honors Theses

Date of Award

5-6-2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Melissa Bass

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to inspire a change in the conversation within the pro-life community and to create a new approach for anti-abortion proponents to use to reduce the number of abortions in the United States. Based on a supply and demand theory of economics, any pro-life strategy to destroy the market for abortion falls into one of two categories. Until now, the pro-life movement has been focused almost exclusively on limiting the supply of abortion services. While the pro-life movement should continue its efforts to ban and restrict abortion, these efforts will fail to fully end abortion because there will still be an illegal market for abortion. The pro-life movement should also decrease demand for abortion by addressing the principal causes of abortion. Abortion rates remain extremely high in the United States despite a recent downward trend. Half of the women who have abortions, 49%, are in poverty (<100% of the FPL). Another 26% are classified as low income (<200% of the FPL), which means that 75% of women who have abortions are poor or low income. The government has created several poverty relief programs that have successfully reduced the rate of abortion. However, these programs are insufficient because they only reach a fraction of the families in need of assistance. This thesis advocates for the expansion of social services, increased access to non-implantation preventing contraceptives, and the creation of free childcare providing pro-life non-profit organizations to fully confront the abortion problem in the United States.

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