Legal Barriers to Second-Trimester Abortion Provision and Public Health Consequences

Am J Public Health. 2009 Apr;99(4):623-30. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.127530. Epub 2009 Feb 5.


Many women need access to abortion care in the second trimester. Most of this care is provided by a small number of specialty clinics, which are increasingly targeted by regulations including bans on so-called partial birth abortion and requirements that the clinic qualify as an ambulatory surgical center. These regulations cause physicians to change their clinical practices or reduce the maximum gestational age at which they perform abortions to avoid legal risks. Ambulatory surgical center requirements significantly increase abortion costs and reduce the availability of abortion services despite the lack of any evidence that using those facilities positively affects health outcomes. Both types of laws threaten to further reduce access to and quality of second-trimester abortion care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / economics
  • Abortion, Induced / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Abortion, Legal*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Mississippi
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second*
  • Supreme Court Decisions
  • United States
  • Voluntary Health Agencies