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Regulating abortion: Impact on patients and providers in Texas


  • Silvie Colman
  • Ted Joyce


The state of Texas began enforcement of the Woman's Right to Know (WRTK) Act on January 1, 2004. The law requires that all abortions at 16 weeks gestation or later be performed in an ambulatory surgical center (ASC). In the month the law went into effect, not one of Texas's 54 non-hospital abortion providers met the requirements of a surgical center. The effect was immediate and dramatic. The number of abortions performed in Texas at 16 weeks gestation or later dropped 88 %, from 3642 in 2003 to 446 in 2004, while the number of residents who left the state for a late abortion almost quadrupled. By 2006, an ASC had opened in 4 major cities down from 9 in 2003 but the abortion rate 16 weeks or more gestation remained 50 percent below its pre-Act level. Regulations of abortion providers that require new facilities or costly renovations could have profound effects on the market for second trimester abortions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Silvie Colman & Ted Joyce, 2011. "Regulating abortion: Impact on patients and providers in Texas," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 775-797, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:30:y:2011:i:4:p:775-797

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1996. "The Impact of State Abortion Restrictions on Minors' Demand for Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 140-158.
    2. Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
    3. Joyce, Theodore & Kaestner, Robert, 1996. "State reproductive policies and adolescent pregnancy resolution: The case of parental involvement laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 579-607, October.
    4. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-161, April.
    5. Cook, Philip J. & Parnell, Allan M. & Moore, Michael J. & Pagnini, Deanna, 1999. "The effects of short-term variation in abortion funding on pregnancy outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 241-257, April.
    6. Bitler, Marianne & Zavodny, Madeline, 2001. "The effect of abortion restrictions on the timing of abortions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1011-1032, November.
    7. Stephan F. Gohmann & Robert L. Ohsfeldt, 1993. "Effects Of Price And Availability On Abortion Demand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(4), pages 42-55, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yao Lu & David J.G. Slusky, 2016. "The Impact of Women’s Health Clinic Closures on Fertility," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201607, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2016.
    2. Joyce, Ted & Tan, Ruoding & Zhang, Yuxiu, 2013. "Abortion before & after Roe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 804-815.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy


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