Back to the Future? Abortion Before & after Roe

45 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2012 Last revised: 17 Sep 2012

See all articles by Theodore Joyce

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ruoding Tan

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Yuxiu Zhang

Yale University

Date Written: August 2012

Abstract

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. We use unique data on abortions performed in New York State from 1971-1975 to analyze the impact of legalized abortion in New York on abortion and birth rates of non-residents. We estimate that abortion rates declined by 12.0 percent for every hundred miles a woman lived from New York in the years before Roe. If Roe were overturned average travel distance to the nearest abortion provider would increase by 157 miles in the 31 states expected to prohibit abortion. Under this scenario abortion rates would fall by 14.9 percent nationally, resulting in at most, 178,800 additional births or 4.2 percent of the U.S. total in 2008. A ban in 17 states would result in a 6.0 percent decline in abortions and at most, 1.7 percent rise in births.

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Theodore J. and Tan, Ruoding and Zhang, Yuxiu, Back to the Future? Abortion Before & after Roe (August 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18338, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2136007

Theodore J. Joyce (Contact Author)

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Ruoding Tan

The Graduate Center, City University of New York ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue
New York,, NY 10016
United States

Yuxiu Zhang

Yale University ( email )

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