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Roe v Wade and American fertility

Author

Listed:
  • Levine, P.B.
  • Staiger, D.
  • Kane, T.J.
  • Zimmerman, D.J.

Abstract

Objectives. This article examines the effect of abortion legalization on fertility rates in the United States. Methods. Fertility rates were compared over time between states that varied in the timing of abortion legalization. Results. States legalizing abortion experienced a 4% decline in fertility relative to states where the legal status of abortion was unchanged. The relative reductions in births to teens, women more than 35 years of age, non- White women, and unmarried women were considerably larger. If women did not travel between states to obtain an abortion, the estimated impact of abortion legalization on birth rates would be about 11%. Conclusions. A complete recriminalization of abortion nationwide could result in 440 000 additional births per year. A reversal of the Roe v Wade decision leaving abortion legal in some states would substantially limit this impact because of the extent of travel between states.

Suggested Citation

  • Levine, P.B. & Staiger, D. & Kane, T.J. & Zimmerman, D.J., 1999. "Roe v Wade and American fertility," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 89(2), pages 199-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:2:199-203_4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lundberg, Shelly & Plotnick, Robert D, 1995. "Adolescent Premarital Childbearing: Do Economic Incentives Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 177-200, April.
    2. Matthews, S. & Ribar, D. & Wilhelm, M., 1995. "The Effects of Economic Conditions and Access to Reproductive Health Services on State Abortion and Birth Rates," Papers 7-95-4, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    3. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas Staiger, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506.
    4. Joyce, T.J. & Mocan, N.H., 1990. "The impact of legalized abortion on adolescent childbearing in New York City," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 80(3), pages 273-278.
    5. Quick, J.D., 1978. "Liberalized abortion in Oregon: effects on fertility, prematurity, fetal death, and infant death," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 68(10), pages 1003-1008.
    6. Blank, Rebecca M. & George, Christine C. & London, Rebecca A., 1996. "State abortion rates the impact of policies, providers, politics, demographics, and economic environment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 513-553, October.
    7. Pakter, J. & O'Hare, D. & Nelson, F. & Svigir, M., 1973. "Two years experience in New York City with the liberalized abortion law--progress and problems," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 63(6), pages 524-535.
    8. Levine, Phillip B. & Trainor, Amy B. & Zimmerman, David J., 1996. "The effect of Medicaid abortion funding restrictions on abortions, pregnancies and births," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 555-578, October.
    9. Janet Currie & Lucia Nixon & Nancy Cole, 1993. "Restrictions on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Pregnancy Resolutions and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 4432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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