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International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 254315, 9 pages
Research Article

Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion Access in the United States

Department of Economics, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulvard, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA

Received 26 March 2012; Revised 27 May 2012; Accepted 10 July 2012

Academic Editor: Bridget Freisthler

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.


This study examines the relationship between state restrictive abortion laws and the incidence of unintended pregnancy. Using 2006 data about pregnancy intentions, the empirical results found that no Medicaid funding, mandatory counseling laws, two-visit laws, and antiabortion attitudes have no significant effect on the unintended pregnancy rate, unwanted pregnancy rate, unintended pregnancy ratio, or the unwanted pregnancy ratio. Parental involvement laws have a significantly negative effect on the unintended and unwanted pregnancy rates and ratios. This latter result suggests that parental involvement laws alter teen minors' risky sexual activity and that behavioral modification has a cumulative effect on the pregnancy avoidance behavior of adult women of childbearing age. The empirical results remain robust even after controlling for regional effects, outliers, and the two different types of parental involvement laws.