Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Affairs

Department Chair or Program Director

Dr. Elizabeth Larus

First Advisor

Dr. Rosalyn Cooperman

Second Advisor

Dr. Melissa Martinez

Major or Concentration

Political Science


This paper will discuss U.S. state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of restricting women’s access to reproductive health care and bodily autonomy. The majority of states delivered executive orders where governors made clear their plan to either uphold the principles related to reproductive health care and freedom or attack them. Almost half of the states discussed reproductive health services in either their stay-at-home orders or essential procedures orders. While the right to an abortion exists at the national level, states vary widely in their regulation of the procedure. For the purposes of this project, I will focus on those states that moved to restrict access to abortion under the cover of a protective COVID-19 health measure. I examine the case studies of Arkansas, Alabama, and Alaska in their restriction of women’s access to health care during a global pandemic.