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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention Advance Access originally published online on October 5, 2005
Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 2006 6(1):52-65; doi:10.1093/brief-treatment/mhi029
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© The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Original Article

Economic Crisis and Women's Childbearing Motivations: The Induced Abortion Response of Women on Public Assistance

   Radha Jagannathan, PhD

From the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, and Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University

Contact author: Radha Jagannathan, Associate Professor, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, 33 Livingston Avenue, Suite 302, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1958. E-mail: radha{at}

This study examines whether welfare reform and other indicators of financial hardship influence women's childbearing motivations and abortion acceptability and whether the latter serve to affect abortion behavior. The conceptual framework adopted to answer the study questions is drawn from the crisis models of Bloom and Reichert (1998) and A. R. Roberts (1991, 2000, 2005) and applied to induced abortion using scales developed by Miller (1992). Using data on a random sample of 1,236 women from the New Jersey's welfare reform experiment, the study finds some evidence that New Jersey's welfare reform (which contained a family cap and a rigorous JOBS program) has served to make abortions more acceptable, which in turn leads to a higher likelihood of induced abortions.

KEY WORDS: welfare reform, abortion attitudes, childbearing attitudes, crisis model, crisis state, induced abortion

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