The Impact of Legal Abortion on Maternal Mortality

104 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2021 Last revised: 26 Sep 2022

See all articles by Sherajum Monira Farin

Sherajum Monira Farin

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Students

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Michael Pesko

University of Missouri - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 1, 2021

Abstract

Legal abortion has recently been suggested as an essential healthcare service. In this study, we consider whether abortion legalization over 1969-1973 improved women’s health, measured by maternal mortality. Our event-study results indicate that legal abortion substantially lowered non-white maternal mortality by 30-40%, with 113 non-white maternal deaths averted nationally in the first year abortion became legal. We also find that early state-level legalizations were crucial, and more influential than the Roe v. Wade decision itself.

Note:
Funding Information: None to declare.

Declaration of Interests: Dr. Pesko reports separate funding exceeding $10,000 over the past three years from the American Cancer Society, University of Kentucky’s Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pesko is an executive board member of the Tobacco Online Policy Seminar. Dr. Hoehn-Velasco reports separate funding from the National Institutes of Health. All others have nothing to declare.

Keywords: Abortion, Legal Abortion, Maternal Mortality, Roe v. Wade, Maternal Health

JEL Classification: I18, J13, K38, H75

Suggested Citation

Farin, Sherajum Monira and Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren and Pesko, Michael, The Impact of Legal Abortion on Maternal Mortality (September 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3913899 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3913899

Sherajum Monira Farin

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Students ( email )

GA
United States

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Michael Pesko

University of Missouri - Department of Economics ( email )

USA

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