Three essays at the intersection of public policy and women's reproductive health and well-being Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Judge, Shana M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Public Policy
  • The three essays in this dissertation examine the relationship between selected state and federal policies and different aspects of women's reproductive health and well-being, including: 1) the timing of abortions obtained by minors; 2) parental support for pregnant and parenting teenagers; and 3) trafficking of women and children for commercial sex. The first essay analyzes common state abortion restrictions known as parental involvement laws that require a parent to be notified of or consent to the decision of a minor teenager to have an abortion. The study determines whether these laws are associated with significant delays in minors' abortions and thus, the potential for a more problematic procedure. Results show effects of parental involvement laws differed widely in the states examined, depending on the provisions states chose to implement. The most commonly-used provisions were associated with significant delays in minors' abortions, as well as increases in the percentage of those abortions that occurred in the second trimester. The second essay examines the likelihood of parental support for teenagers who do not terminate their pregnancies but become teen mothers instead. Several state and federal policies mandate or encourage parental involvement in the lives of teenage mothers and implicitly assume parental support is readily available. Results show that, in the sample studied, the likelihood of young mothers living with or receiving financial help from a parent decreased from the birth of their child through the first and third years postpartum. However, results also show mothers who were minors when they gave birth were more likely to receive parental support than older teen mothers. The third essay analyzes the impact of federal anti-trafficking legislation as well as the relationship over time between federal trafficking cases and factors relating to supply and demand for commercial sex. Results indicate that the incidence of trafficking cases in federal judicial districts is significantly and positively associated with increases in unemployment and the percentages of the districts' non-white populations. Results also show that since 1997, the percentage of federal charges filed that involve trafficking has been increasing significantly. This increase appears to reflect growth in the underlying crime.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Public Policy."
  • Durrance, Christine
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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