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How Far Is Too Far? New Evidence on Abortion Clinic Closures, Access, and Abortions

Listed author(s):
  • Scott Cunningham
  • Jason M. Lindo
  • Caitlin Myers
  • Andrea Schlosser
Registered author(s):

    We estimate the effect of Texas HB2, a TRAP law that shuttered nearly half of Texas' abortion clinics in late 2013. After demonstrating that pre-existing trends in abortion rates were unrelated to the changes in access caused by HB2, we implement a difference-in-difference research design to identify the effects of abortion access. Our results suggest a substantial and non-linear effect of distance to abortion services. As the distance to the nearest abortion provider increases from less than 25 miles to 25-50 miles, there is little change in rates of legally induced abortions. But an increase to 50-100 miles reduces legal abortion rates by 16 percent, an increase to 100-200 miles reduces abortion rates by 32 percent, and an increase to 200 or more miles reduces abortion rates by 47 percent. We also introduce a proxy for congestion that predicts additional reductions in abortion rates as fewer clinics serve more women.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23366.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2017
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23366
    Note: CH HC HE LE PE
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    1. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat & Jonathan Gruber & Phillip Levine, 2007. "Abortion Legalization and Life-Cycle Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    2. Joanna Lahey, 2014. "The Effect of Anti-Abortion Legislation on Nineteenth Century Fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 939-948, June.
    3. Joyce, Ted & Tan, Ruoding & Zhang, Yuxiu, 2013. "Abortion before & after Roe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 804-815.
    4. Yao Lu & David J. G. Slusky, 2016. "The Impact of Women's Health Clinic Closures on Preventive Care," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 100-124, July.
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