Abortion Politics in Congress: Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change

Abortion Politics in Congress: Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change

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This book examines how legislators have juggled their passions over abortion with standard congressional procedures, looking at how both external factors (such as public opinion) and internal factors (such as the ideological composition of committees and party systems) shape the development of abortion policy. Driven by both theoretical and empirical concerns, Scott H. Ainsworth and Thad E. Hall present a simple, formal model of strategic incrementalism, illustrating that legislators often have incentives to alter policy incrementally. They then examine the sponsorship of abortion-related proposals as well as their committee referral and find that a wide range of Democratic and Republican legislators repeatedly offer abortion-related proposals designed to alter abortion policy incrementally. Abortion Politics in Congress reveals that abortion debates have permeated a wide range of issues and that a wide range of legislators and a large number of committees address abortion.

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