Public Preferences, Political Party Control, and Restrictive State Abortion Laws

Marshall H. Medoff, Christopher Dennis
2016 American Review of Politics  
<span style="font-size: 100%; font-family: Arial;" data-sheets-value="{&quot;1&quot;:2,&quot;2&quot;:&quot;This study examines the process by which state legislators respond to the public\u2019s preferences about abortion policy over time. We examine the determinants of the enactment by a state of a parental involvement law employing the event history analysis approach. The empirical results suggest that, in the short-term, neither the public\u2019s abortion preferences nor institutional
more » ... nstitutional control of state government by the generally prolife Republican Party has a significant impact on the enactment of a parental involvement law, while institutional control by the generally prochoice Democratic Party significantly decreases the likelihood of the passage of a parental involvement law. In the long-term, the public\u2019s abortion preferences are positively associated with the enactment of a parental involvement law. However, when the Republican Party or the Democratic Party have institutional control of the executive and legislative branches of state government, this allows each political party to support or oppose the enactment of a parental involvement law consistent with each party\u2019s public position on the abortion issue, regardless of the public\u2019s abortion preferences or the competitive electoral environment. The empirical results remain robust for a variety of alternative specifications.&quot;}" data-sheets-userformat="{&quot;2&quot;:12544,&quot;11&quot;:0,&quot;15&quot;:&quot;arial,sans,sans-serif&quot;,&quot;16&quot;:10}">This study examines the process by which state legislators respond to the public's preferences about abortion policy over time. We examine the determinants of the enactment by a state of a parental involvement law employing the event history analysis approach. The empirical results suggest that, in the short-term, neither the public's abortion preferences nor institutional control of state government by the generally prolife Republican Party has a significant impact on the enactment of a parental involvement law, while institutional control by the generally prochoice Democratic Party significantly decreases the likelihood of the passage of a parental involvement law. In the long-term, the public's abortion preferences are positively associated with the enactment of a parental involvement law. However, when the Republican Party or the Democratic Party have institutional control of the executive and legislative branches of state government, this allows each political party to support or oppose the enactment of a parental involvement law consistent with each party's public position on the abortion issue, regardless of the public's abortion preferences or the competitive electoral environment. The empirical results remain robust for a variety of alternative specifications.</span>
doi:10.15763/issn.2374-7781.2010.31.0.307-331 fatcat:akt4cjxcbnd7dg7lg2elz7w6lq