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ISRN Economics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 612081, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/612081
Research Article

Unintended Pregnancies, Restrictive Abortion Laws, and Abortion Demand

Department of Economics, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA

Received 25 September 2012; Accepted 21 November 2012

Academic Editors: P. D. Murphy, A. Rodriguez-Alvarez, and M. Tsionas

Copyright © 2012 Marshall H. Medoff. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study examines the effect restrictive state abortion laws have on the pregnancy resolution decisions of women with unintended pregnancies. The empirical results find that the abortion ratio and the abortion rate of unintended pregnancies are more sensitive to increases in the abortion price than previous estimates that analyzed total pregnancies (unintended and intended). A Medicaid funding restriction has very little effect on a state's abortion rate of unintended pregnancies, but causes a larger decrease in the number of abortions of unintended pregnancies than previous estimates. A parental involvement law is associated with a significant reduction in a state's abortion ratio and the abortion rate of unintended pregnancies, which suggests that the law may have a behavioral modification effect. Neither a mandatory counseling law nor a two-visit law has a significant effect on a state's abortion ratio and the abortion rate of unintended pregnancies.