Taxation without Representation?: Exploring the Gendered Context of Abortion

Stephanie Jaros, University of Washington

On account of the global AIDS epidemic and increasing rates of STIs, researchers have begun to address men’s roles in fertility, thereby shifting reproduction away from individual women toward the social realm in which men and women are decision-makers. In the United States, however, men wield no reproductive rights, implying that the abortion decision represents a sight of empowerment for women. To date, however, this implication has not been evaluated empirically. In this paper, I take the first steps toward evaluating this claim by operationalizing power via demographic characteristics and analyzing data from the National Survey of Family Growth. Data reveal that men and women who reported abortion are similar along racial, marital and income categories but there are significant differences in age and education, which raises questions about the types of relationships most likely to produce abortions and more broadly, how macro-level power trickles down to individual women.

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Presented in Poster Session 1