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Policymakers’ Abortion Preferences: Understanding the Intersection of Gender and Wealth (2024)

Lise Rakner et al. (2024) have published an article in Comparative Political Studies on how public health framing affects politicians' views, focusing on gender and wealth.

Main content

When are politicians willing to liberalize abortion laws? While restricted access to legal abortion affects millions of women around the world, there is relatively little understanding of the factors shaping the views of politicians who craft or uphold such restrictive laws. This study examines the impact of a public health framing commonly employed by activists to persuade politicians to reform abortion laws. We provide evidence that politicians’ preferences toward abortion reforms are shaped by the intersection of gender and wealth. Drawing on a survey experiment conducted among more than 600 politicians in Zambia, we show that only women politicians from less wealthy backgrounds are more likely to support policy liberalization after being exposed to a public health framing. These findings underscore how economic inequal- ities can affect the substantive representation of women’s interests and provide a baseline for further research on the use of framing strategies in other developing country contexts.

The article can be accessed from this link.