Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2017

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name





Dr. Carla Corroto

First Committee Member

Dr. Suzanne Ashworth

Second Committee Member

Dr. Robin Grote


Abortion, Reproductive Justice, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Planned Parenthood, Political Party Affiliation

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Women's Studies


Reproductive rights continue to be a political issue in the United States, with arguments emanating from various angles - including religious and feminist ideologies. The contentious tone of the recent presidential election did nothing to quell the debate. Recently, attempts to create policy limiting access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education, are important aspects of reproductive health, but the controversy predominantly lies with access to abortion.

The purpose of this study is to understand if there is a relationship between elected office holders’ political party affiliation and the presence or absence of both Planned Parenthood clinics and so-called crisis pregnancy centers. There are implications associated with discrepancies in access to healthcare, especially when access to various medical procedures and medications are not permanently protected under federal law. Ideologically, there are drastic differences between Planned Parenthood and crisis pregnancy centers- thus forcing women to choose between what many consider to be the two extremes of reproductive health care models based on geographic location and accessibility. Analyzing the impacts of both models of reproductive health care by researching rates of teen pregnancy and abortion, to name a few, allows us to rethink the limitations that come with hindering women’s autonomy surrounding their own reproductive health care. Comparing the efficacy of both models of reproductive health care gives way for the United States to explore and implement a method that is shown to work to the benefit of women throughout the country instead of women in specific geographic or cultural locations. Lastly, this work will conclude with suggestions for positive change regarding reproductive health care as well as future directions.