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.
Scott H. Ainsworth is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. His work on lobbying, interest groups and the U.S. Congress has appeared in numerous outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics and Legislative Studies Quarterly. He is the author of Analyzing Interest Groups. Thad E. Hall is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Utah. He has authored or coauthored three books - Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting, Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promise of Digital Democracy and Authorizing Policy - and coedited the book Election Fraud: Detecting and Preventing Electoral Manipulation. He has written more than 20 articles and book chapters examining various aspects of public policy.
Part I. Strategic Incrementalism and the Political Backdrop for Abortion Politics in Congress: 1. Some of the politics surrounding abortion policy; 2. The strategic foundations for incrementalism in legislatures; 3. The nature of Congress and incrementalism in abortion politics: views from the inside and views from the outside; 4. A short legislative history of abortion; Part II. Abortion in the House: 5. Sponsors of abortion policies; 6. Playing the field: committee referrals of abortion-related proposals; 7. Conclusion.