Family Caps, Abortion and Women of Color: Research Connection and Political Rejection

Hardcover | September 13, 2007

byMichael Camasso

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Fifteen years ago, New Jersey became the first of over twenty states to introduce the family cap, a welfare reform policy that reduces or eliminates cash benefits for unmarried women on public assistance who become pregnant. The caps have lowered extra-marital birth rates, as intended but asMichael J. Camasso shows convincingly in this provocative book, they did so in a manner that few of the policys architects are willing to acknowledge publicly, namely by increasing the abortion rate disproportionately among black and Hispanic women. In Family Caps, Abortion, and Women of Color, Camasso (who headed up the evaluation of the nations first cap) presents the caps history from inception through implementation to his investigation and the dramatic attempts to squelch his unpleasant findings. The book is filled with devastatinglyclear-cut evidence and hard-nosed data analyses, yet Camasso also pays close attention to the reactions his findings provoked in policymakers, both conservative and liberal, who were unprepared for the effects of their crude social engineering and did not want their success scrutinized too closely.Camasso argues that absent any successful rehabilitation or marriage strategies, abortion provides a viable third way for policymakers to help black and Hispanic women accumulate the social and human capital they need to escape welfare, while simultaneously appealing to liberals passion forreproductive freedom and the neoconservatives sense of social pragmatism. Camasso's conclusions will please no one along the political spectrum, making it all the more essential for them to be studied widely. A classic example of what can happen to research and the researcher when research findings become misaligned with political goals and strategies, Family Caps,Abortion and Women of Color is sure to foment a contentious but vital discussion among all who read it.

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Fifteen years ago, New Jersey became the first of over twenty states to introduce the family cap, a welfare reform policy that reduces or eliminates cash benefits for unmarried women on public assistance who become pregnant. The caps have lowered extra-marital birth rates, as intended but asMichael J. Camasso shows convincingly in thi...

Michael J. Camasso is currently a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics at Rutgers University. Prior to this he served on the School of Social Work faculty for over 15 years. Professor Camasso has conducted applied social science research in the areas of child welfare, public welfare, youth care...

other books by Michael Camasso

Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:September 13, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195179056

ISBN - 13:9780195179057

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Table of Contents

1. Reforming Welfare with Family Caps2. New Jersey Birthplace of the Family Cap3. Family Caps and Non-Marital Births4. Experimenting with a Family Cap5. Rushing to Judgment About the Family Cap6. Trying to Study the Family Cap7. Questioning the Family Cap Evidence8. Testing Family Cap Theory9. Sauntering Toward Re-Authorization