Socio-political and economic correlates influencing abortion policies across the states in America


  • Mashooq Salehin North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


Women's empowerment and rights, Reproductive health, United States, Roe v Wade, Abortion


In United States abortion has been the divisive issue in social and political front. In June 2022, a long-awaited ruling of US Supreme court officially reversed 1973s ruling on Roe v. Wade that established the constitutional right to abortion. Access to abortion has been facing challenges by the right wing formal and informal socio-political agencies placing reproductive health of women at risk. Pro-life conservative groups across the states have been attempting to make abortion difficult to access through enacting laws prevailing societal norms and patriarchal values based on religiosity. Utilizing the social determinants of health and system perspectives this study measures the cumulative effect of sociopolitical and economic variables on abortion policy scores of the states using multiple linear regression model. Independent variables in the model are state's 2020 presidential election outcome, prevalence of teen abortion, unemployment among women living in poverty, and enrollment of women in higher education. As hypothesized, presidential election outcome was identified as a predictor of state's abortion policy attribute and the extent of policy being supportive or restrictive. Bivariate analyses show significant associations between dependent variables and the predictors in expected direction such as, states with supportive abortion policy had higher enrollment of female in college or graduate school compared to that of states with restrictive abortion policy. Implications and recommendations for future research are provided.

Author Biography

Mashooq Salehin, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Department of Social Work and Sociology
Associate Professor


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Special focus on Women and Children