Identifier

etd-04032008-144658

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

By looking at the courts and legislatures as agents of social change, this study seeks to assess the impact of judicial decisions in a particularly contentious area, the right to bodily privacy. Specifically, I seek to understand the competing effects of state supreme court decisions and state statutes on the consumers of their public policy choices. Past studies have found conflicting results concerning the impact of court decisions. Literature assessing the effect of legislation finds that statutes, which are specific in nature, engender significant effects. For this study I focus specifically on court decisions and legislation that are concerned with access to reproductive services, and their impact on abortion rates within five states: Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts from 1973 through 2000. My preliminary analysis suggests that both legislative and judicial actions have significant effects, though not necessarily in the intended direction.

Date

2008

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stacy Haynie

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