Abortion Laws and Women's Health

77 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Damian Clarke

Damian Clarke

University of Oxford - Department of Economics

Hannah Mühlrad

Lund University


We examine the impact of progressive and regressive abortion legislation on women's health and survival in Mexico. Following a 2007 reform in the Federal District of Mexico which decriminalised and subsidised early-term elective abortion, multiple other Mexican states increased sanctions on illegal abortion. We observe that the original progressive policy resulted in a sharp decline in maternal morbidity, particularly maternal morbidity due to haemorrhage early in pregnancy. We observe small or null impacts on women's health from increasing sanctions on illegal abortion. We find some evidence to suggest that these impacts were also observed when considering maternal mortality, though effects are less precisely estimated.

Keywords: abortion, maternal morbidity, maternal mortality, political economy, legislative reform

JEL Classification: I18, J13, K38, H75

Suggested Citation

Clarke, Damian and Mühlrad, Hannah, Abortion Laws and Women's Health. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11890, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3273730

Damian Clarke (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
United Kingdom

Hannah Mühlrad

Lund University

Box 117
Lund, SC Skane S221 00

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