The Impact of a Ban on Legalized Abortion on Adolescent Childbearing in New York City

29 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2007 Last revised: 16 Sep 2010

See all articles by Theodore Joyce

Theodore Joyce

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

Naci H. Mocan

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 1989

Abstract

This paper attempts to forecast the change in adolescent childbearing among New York City residents following a ban on legalized abortion. With monthly data on the number of births to white and black adolescents from January, 1963 to December, 1987 we used an interrupted time-series analysis to estimate the change in adolescent childbearing that followed the liberalization of the New York State abortion law in 1970. We found the level of births to black adolescents living in New York City fell 18.7 percent between 1970 and 1971, or approximately 142 fewer births per month (p<.001). The level of white births fell 14.1 percent or approximately 111 fewer births per month (p<.001). The absolute value of the percentage changes in births between 1970 and 1971 were applied to the forecasted number of monthly births in 1988 and 1989. If legal abortion had been inaccessible to New York City adolescents beginning January 1, 1988, there would have been 2143 black and 1067 white unintended births to teenagers in the first two years of a ban. The results suggest that a prohibition on legalized abortion would have a substantial increase in adolescent childbearing across the U.S. although the magnitude of the change will vary according to local conditions.

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Theodore J. and Mocan, Naci H., The Impact of a Ban on Legalized Abortion on Adolescent Childbearing in New York City (June 1989). NBER Working Paper No. w3002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979725

Theodore J. Joyce (Contact Author)

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

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Naci H. Mocan

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of economics
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6308
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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