AIDing Contraception: HIV and Recent Trends in Abortion Rates
Since the onset of HIV/AIDS awareness in the early 1980s, much attention has centered around the substantial negative effects of the disease throughout the world. This paper provides evidence of a secondary effect the disease has had on sexual behavior in the United States. Using a difference-in-differences estimation framework and state level data, we show that the perceived threat of HIV resulted in a drop in unwanted pregnancies, as demonstrated by a lower incidence of abortions. Our results suggest that each additional reported case of HIV per 1,000 individuals resulted in 85.5 fewer abortions per 1,000 live births.
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