Reproductive health policy‐makers: Comparing the influences of international and domestic institutions on abortion policy

Date01 March 2018
AuthorUdi Sommer,Aliza Forman‐Rabinovici
Published date01 March 2018
Reproductive health policy-makers: Comparing
the influences of international and domestic
institutions on abortion policy
Aliza Forman-Rabinovici
| Udi Sommer
Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv
University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Department of Political Science, Columbia
University, New York, USA and Tel Aviv
University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Aliza Forman-Rabinovici, Department of
Political Science, Tel Aviv University, PO Box
39040, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
Do policies protecting women's rights correspond with norm
change at the state level or the level of international institutions?
We examine this question, comparing domestic and international
institutional activity in correlation with reproductive health policy
change, specifically, abortion access policy. At the domestic level,
we examine female legislators and policies set to encourage gen-
der equality, namely, electoral gender quotas. In the international
arena, our theory distinguishes regional from international inter-
governmental bodies. Original data with measurement innovations
introduced hereincluding the Comparative Abortion Policy Index
(CAPI1 and CAPI2)are analysed for over 150 countries for close
to two decades. We find a heretofore-overlooked relationship
between international entities and reproductive health. Gender
quotas, however, do not correspond with the general association
between female representation and pro-women policy. When
researchers and policy-makers consider gender quotas to promote
women's rights, they may be advised to encourage female political
participation through more organic means.
Do policies regarding women's rights correspond with norm change within the sovereign state or do such policies
stem from the web of international institutions and organizations vying for influence? To examine this question, this
research will use law on access to abortion as a policy concerning women's rights that varies country by country
and over time. We develop a theoretical framework to analyse the efforts of both international and domestic insti-
tutions to increase gender equality through reproductive health. We then examine empirically the actions of which
set of actors have correlated more significantly with over-time and cross-national policy change. This research also
touches on a policy diffusion debate with our findings largely supportive of the framework of the world society
DOI: 10.1111/padm.12383
Public Administration. 2018;96:185199. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd 185

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