Master of Public Affairs Capstone Projects

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    Reproductive Equity and Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) Laws: The Time, Travel, and Cost of Abortion Access
    (Indiana University South Bend, 2018-04) Morgan, Jamie
    Reproductive health access is impeded by time, travel, and cost of care. These economic factors impact a patient’s ability to receive healthcare care and this paper tests if the cost of abortion access is increased by Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws. Disparity in reproductive equity due to state government regulation has implications on equity in public policy and accessibility to reproductive care. For abortion policy to be socially equitable, it must be distributive, providing the greatest benefit to the least advantaged. Assuming abortion demand is constant, this study seeks to understand the real cost associated with barriers to care due to state TRAP legislation creating inequality through supply-side restrictions. This paper uses statistical analysis to examine the cost variables of time, travel, childcare, and lost wages to test for equity in legislation. Findings show a positive relationship between the number of TRAP laws and hardship costs to patients, demonstrating inequitable state healthcare policy. Results indicate that those living in states with higher restrictions and regulations to abortion providers have a higher financial burden to accessing abortion care. Implications include recommendations for lawmakers, nonprofits, and abortion providers to improve access to abortion and lower the cost of care burdened by patients.