The Need for a National Abortion Reporting Requirement: Why Both Sides Should Be in Support of Better Data

31 Pages Posted: 13 May 2014

See all articles by J. Hill

J. Hill

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: May 2, 2014

Abstract

This paper focuses on the status of abortion reporting in the United States and how current data is inadequate. Looking to the two primary collectors of abortion statistics, the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute, this article highlights how both institutions suffer deficiencies and delays with their information gathering and how this is ultimately bad for society. Next, the paper discusses the Supreme Court's treatment of state abortion reporting statutes and how under today's Court, such legislation would likely pass constitutional muster as long as patient confidentiality was maintained. Finally, I discuss potential avenues through which better data can be achieved by Congress, characterized as the "command" option (legislative mandate), and the "bribe" option (conditional spending), respectively. I conclude that the "bribe" option is superior as it avoids concerns of anti-commandeering and allows the states to voluntarily cooperate with federal policy rather than passively resist it.

Keywords: National, Abortion, Reporting, Requirement, Laws, Statistics, Data, Rates, Surveillance, Annual Report

JEL Classification: H51, I18, I11, J18

Suggested Citation

Hill, James, The Need for a National Abortion Reporting Requirement: Why Both Sides Should Be in Support of Better Data (May 2, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2306667 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2306667

James Hill (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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