Developing a Comprehensive Contextual Model of Reproductive Health Policy: Implications of the Affordable Care Act of 2010
Monica Gaughan, Arizona State University
Georgia Michlig, Arizona State University
Reproductive health policies in the United States constitute a complicated mix of determinants that vary geographically, politically, economically, and institutionally. The recent Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included a set of reproductive health policies that increase the complexity of the existing reproductive health policy system. Many scholars have demonstrated the effects of specific policies on diverse reproductive health outcomes. The first objective of this analysis is to review, characterize, and synthesize the existing literature that accounts for policy-related contextual effects on reproductive health behavior. The review enables development of a policy model incorporating the range of factors needed to predict variation in reproductive health. We then evaluate how reproductive health provisions of the ACA are likely to increase the complexity of the policy system. The result is a conceptual framework of contextual factors, along with the presentation of appropriate empirical indicators to assess reproductive health outcomes and behaviors.