Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy


Greg Mathison


Abortion, Ohio, Abortion Rate, Public Policy, Public Administration, Mixed Methods, Dissertation, Roe v. Wade


Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


OBJECTIVES: More than 8,000 fewer abortions were reported to the Ohio Department of Health in 2019 than in 2009. And yet, little research has been conducted to indicate what factors most influence this drop. Due to these shortcomings within the literature on abortion, the researcher used a mixed methods approach to discover answers to the following two questions: Have abortion rates changed in Ohio from 2009-2019, if so, how? As well as, what major factors have influenced the decline in the number of abortions within the state of Ohio from 2009 to 2019? STUDY DESIGN: The researcher utilized a mixed methods approach by comparing quantitative Ohio Department of Health abortion rate data to qualitative interview data. Upon reaching out to approximately 200 potential participants, the selected qualitative sample size was 15 total participants made up of 5 Ohio Public Administrators, 5 Ohio Pro-Choice advocates, and 5 Ohio Pro-Life advocates. To obtain triangulation within results, the quantitative and qualitative data were compared to each other as well as to secondary literature research. RESULTS: Consecutively, the literature, quantitative, and qualitative data granted a majority view that the abortion rate in Ohio has generally decreased over the past decade. Based namely on literature and qualitative data, the factors that are said to most contribute to this decline includes access to birth control, family planning, restrictive legislation in the State which includes funding policy, and education and awareness of the topic. CONCLUSIONS: An evaluation of abortion policy enacted and proposed in Ohio since 2009 indicates support that the State is highly restrictive when it comes to pro-choice initiatives. The literature as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis support this indication as well. All factors within indicate successfully that public policy is a leading factor affecting access to abortion which thereby impacts the State’s abortion rate. Further research on the topic as data reflecting Ohio’s recently enacted heartbeat bill is encouraged. IMPLICATIONS: The study findings may be used by the Ohio State government to articulate and implement policies of regulating abortion to enhance the desired reduction or increase of the abortion rate in the State. Both public and private abortion clinics may also use these findings to enhance the education and awareness companies against unlawful abortions and its subsequent risks to the victim.