Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Document Type


Publication Date



In 2009, Colorado successfully decreased their abortion rate among minors and at-risk teenagers through a privately-funded trial. This outcome was realized by offering affordable, accessible, and comprehensive reproductive healthcare options, specifically long-acting reversible contraception, to young women. Reproductive rights is an issue at the forefront of political discussion, often a determining factor for party identification. The controversy of reproductive rights--in particular, abortion--leads to a higher reliance on hear-say, instead of peer-reviewed literature, statistics, and legislation. In order to gain a well-balanced understanding of abortion politics, I compare three Midwestern states--Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota--to determine their respective policy successes and shortcomings. I examine each state' s abortion related policies including sex education and contraception access in order to determine how these factors affect the abortion rate. Determining what factors work in each state, and whether that is a pattern among the states, guides my proposed policy reforms. The purpose of this exploration is to encourage and promote the significance of women's health education--specifically, reproductive rights. Considering the majority of information portrayed regarding sexual health occurs at a high school level age, there is a more structured focus on the abortion rate of minors. Access to information and birth control, coupled with mandated comprehensive sex education in schools, are key to re-shaping America's current, complex state of healthcare. Change needs to be inspired, and that is the purpose of this thesis: to improve women's reproductive healthcare system; lower abortion rates would simply be an added benefit.