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Are Social Welfare Policies "Pro-Life"? An Individual-Level Analysis of Low-Income Women

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  • Laura S. Hussey

    (University of Baltimore)

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that low-income women's likelihood of choosing abortion will decrease as their access to and participation in social welfare programs increases. Though an affirmative finding could challenge the coherence of a morally and fiscally conservative Republican coalition and thus improve prospects for the safety net?s political future, findings from a sample of low-SES, urban mothers do not support this hypothesis. Welfare program participation and state welfare generosity are positively associated with the likelihood of choosing abortion. The existence and magnitude of this relationship, however, is mediated by the rules of state welfare bureaucracies and also varies by women's race and marital status. Limitations on abortion access appear to reduce abortions, while the nongovernmental safety net does not affect abortion decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura S. Hussey, 2006. "Are Social Welfare Policies "Pro-Life"? An Individual-Level Analysis of Low-Income Women," Working Papers 896, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp07-12-ff.pdf
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    File URL: http://crcw.princeton.edu/workingpapers/WP07-12-FF.pdf
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