We Need More Women in Government

Women’s reproductive rights are under assault in the United States as certain States pass legislation to undermine abortion rights. A Supreme Court with a growing conservative influence may curtail rights confirmed in Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. On the other hand, the number of women running for office is growing. In this post, we take a glance at whether the number of women in State legislatures is correlated with a State’s protection of reproductive rights.

To measure how a State scores in guaranteeing reproductive rights, we use the “Women’s Reproductive Rights Composite Score” from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The percentage of women in State legislatures is as of 2019.

Each blue dot below represents a State. States with a higher percentage of women in the legislature tend to protect women’s reproductive rights more than States with fewer women lawmakers. Not surprising, but it confirms why diversity in government is so important.

Figure 1. Reproductive Rights and Women in the Legislature, by State

1 Comment

  1. Interesting graph but you are drawing some causality from the correlation: “Not surprising, but it confirms why diversity in government is so important.” You can’t prove that the women in government are the reason that these states are scoring higher on the Women’s Reproductive Rights composite score. For example, state’s that are more inclined to have women run for office and become elected could also be more inclined to support Reproductive Rights legislation. What you can do though, is go and research how these women are voting and then draw conclusions on the effects of women in state legislature.

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