Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Child and Family Development (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Trent Maurer


This study examines college students’ perceptions of different strategies and the efficacy of those strategies to reduce the rates of abortions. Factors such as comprehensive, medically accurate sex education, widespread accessibility and affordability of contraception, and affordable and accessible pre-natal care are all factors that the literature has established lower the rates of abortions. Factors such as waiting periods of 24 hours or more to perform a surgical abortion, restricting state funding for abortions, and legal bans of abortions altogether are factors that do not reduce the rates of abortions (Medoff, 2015); they may even be counterproductive to their original purpose and cause the number of abortions to rise, not fall. This study uses a mixed methods approach of qualitative and quantitative questions including a Likert-type scale, to measure participants’ perceptions against what the peer reviewed data knows to be effective in lowering abortion rates. The data had shown that sex education, contraception and prenatal care are factors that these college students thought would lower the rates of abortion which directly links to what the literature lists as factors that will reduce the rates or abortion. However, my participants thought bans on abortion and restrictive laws would lower the rates which we know to be false according to the literature.

Thesis Summary

This research study used a survey that included three open-ended questions, along with a Likert-type scale for participants to rate which factors they thought would increase the rate of abortions, as opposed to those they thought would decrease the rates of abortions. As there were no previous measures or research on the specific subject of perceptions of the factors that lower abortion rates, the measures in this study are original to the study itself.