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The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Damian Clarke

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad de Santiago de Chile)

  • Hanna Muehlrad

    () (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

We examine the effect of a large-scale, free, elective abortion program implemented in Mexico City in 2007. Prior to this program, all states and districts in Mexico had very limited, or no, access to elective abortion. A localized reform in Mexico City resulted in a sharp increase in the request and use of early term elective abortions: approximately 90,000 abortions were administered by public health providers in the four years following the reform, versus only 62 in the five years preceding the reform. We provide evidence using national vital statistics data from Mexico covering over 23 million births and over 11,000 cases of maternal deaths. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that this program resulted in a reduction in births by 2.3 to 3.8% among women aged 15-44 and by 5.1 to 7.1% among teenage women (15-19 year-olds). Similar results are found for maternal mortality, for which we find a sharp fall in the rate of maternal deaths, by 8.8 to 16.2% for women aged 15-44 and by 14.9 to as much as 30.3% among teenagers. All told, the reform appears to increase the average age of women at first birth, and reduce the number of mothers giving birth at higher parities.

Suggested Citation

  • Damian Clarke & Hanna Muehlrad, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," CINCH Working Paper Series 1602, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Feb 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:duh:wpaper:1602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke, Damian & Mühlrad, Hanna, 2016. "The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers in Economics 661, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Elizabeth Lemmon, 2018. "Utilisation of personal care services in Scotland: the influence of unpaid carers," CINCH Working Paper Series 1802, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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