By Scott H. Ainsworth

This booklet examines how legislators have juggled their passions over abortion with common congressional techniques, taking a look at how either exterior elements (such as public opinion) and inner elements (such because the ideological composition of committees and celebration structures) form the improvement of abortion coverage. pushed by means of either theoretical and empirical matters, Scott H. Ainsworth and Thad E. corridor current an easy, formal version of strategic incrementalism, illustrating that legislators usually have incentives to change coverage incrementally. They then research the sponsorship of abortion-related proposals in addition to their committee referral and locate wide variety of Democratic and Republican legislators time and again provide abortion-related proposals designed to change abortion coverage incrementally. Abortion Politics in Congress finds that abortion debates have permeated a variety of matters and wide selection of legislators and numerous committees handle abortion.

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For many in the pro-choice camp, abortion is deeply connected to the feminist movement, and the right to have an abortion represents the full realization of women’s control over their bodies and lives, their ability to decide if, when, and under what conditions to remain pregnant and become mothers. 16 Supporters of abortion access also often point to the problems of “back alley” abortions obtained when abortion was illegal or access 16 See Glendon (1991) for a now classic critique of the “rights talk” surrounding abortion.

A final approach to understanding the abortion issue has been to consider its impact on voting behavior and party identification. That is, how do attitudes toward abortion affect basic political behaviors such as voting? Numerous studies examine the relationship between abortion attitudes and voter choice at all levels of government (Abramowitz 1995; Cook, Jelen, and Wilcox 1992; Howell and Sims 1993). Of course, voters’ attitudes also interact with political parties. Political scientist Greg Adams (1997) provides a thorough analysis of the increasing polarization of the two parties on abortion, and the ways in which this elitedriven process has influenced party identification at the mass level.

Public attention to an issue often wanes after legislative or judicial action. The American public often considers a federal court decision on an issue as a definitive, final statement. For abortion rulings, this is most certainly not the case, as we were just reminded by Gonzales v. Roe and its numerous predecessors have failed to quiet, let alone end, the abortion debate. Recently, scholars of the Supreme Court have suggested that judges actively avoid making definitive statements on delicate issues (Rosenberg 1991; Sunstein 2005, 104–105; cf.

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