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  1. 1

    Teenage pregnancies and the recriminalization of abortions [editorial]

    Wattleton F

    AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH. 1990 Mar; 80(3):269-70.

    Trends toward increasing restrictions on abortion in the U.S. since the Reagan administration are summarized, and implications for adolescent pregnancy noted. Although abortion was legalized in 1973 by the Supreme Court, federal administrative tactics sine 1982 have cut funding for Title X of the Public Health Service Act 15% from 1981-1989, required parental permission for adolescent abortion--"squeal rule", forbid informing, referring or counseling women about the possibility of abortion--"gag rule", and appointed Supreme Court justices such that cases concerning restriction on abortion are being decided restrictively. Public backlash has resulted in reversal of the parental notification requirement in publicly funded clinics and election of several "pro-choice" candidates. Research studies have shown that early childbearing is not beneficial to individuals or to society, and that parental notification does not improve family communication but delays abortion by as much as 23 days and encourages women to travel to other states for abortion. Restrictive policies regarding access to the public funding of abortion affect the poor, young and underprivileged disproportionately. Denying that the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world will not reverse the problem: only effective sexuality education, social intervention and complete, compassionate adolescent health care can prevent teen pregnancy and abortion.
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  2. 2

    The politics of abortion: a study of community conflict in public policy making

    Tatalovich R; Daynes BW

    New York, N.Y, Praeger, 1981. vi, 248 p.

    The author describes the various stages in the abortion policy making process. Since the 1960s the abortion issue has been put on the public agenda, a major accomplishment considering the religious opposition to even discussing the issue publicly. Since the case of Roe v. Wade community conflict has been the dominant factor of the abortion issue; a community conflict involves all social classes and persists for a long period of time. The success of political activity in bringing the issue to a head lies partly in the ability to cultivate public approval and claim a degree of legitimacy for change. The goals of the 1960s movements were limited and met with some success; by the 1970s the goals were more encompassing and pro-life groups gained some sympathy as well. In the 1970s arguments about the meaning of human life and the integrity of civil rights were common and the issue became intertwined with that of women's rights. As an emotional issue abortion has brought more people into the debate than other political problems, especially among the lower socioeconomic classes. In considering turning the consensus into public policy one must consider the great degree of controversy surrounding abortion and the tendency of lawmakers to adhere to grass roots opinions when dealing with highly emotional matters. Actual provision of services, involving medical professionals, is another problem which may vary in degree from region to region. Further research should involve the following problems: 1) what other types of issues seem comparable to abortion, 2) what specific variables impinge upon all of these issues, and 3) can any paradigm be used to explain this policy.
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