The effect of abortion restrictions on the timing of abortions

J Health Econ. 2001 Nov;20(6):1011-32. doi: 10.1016/s0167-6296(01)00106-0.


This paper uses data on the distribution of abortions by weeks of gestation to examine the relationship between abortion restrictions and the timing of abortions. State-level data from 1974 to 1997 indicate that adoption of parental involvement laws for minors or enforcement of mandatory waiting periods is positively associated with the post-first trimester percentage of abortions. However, autocorrelation-corrected specifications indicate that enforced parental involvement laws increase the share of later-term abortions by lowering the first trimester abortion rate rather than by delaying abortions. Medicaid funding restrictions generally do not have a significant effect on the timing of abortions in our results.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal / economics
  • Abortion, Legal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Medicaid / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimesters*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Third-Party Consent / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Women's Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence*