The Impact of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers Laws on Abortions and Births

Monday, June 24, 2019: 8:45 AM
Jackson - Mezzanine Level (Marriott Wardman Park Hotel)

Presenter: Grace Arnold

Discussant: Maria Steenland

Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws have been enacted since the 1980s, but have gained popularity in the last half-decade. Despite the prevalence and controversy regarding TRAP laws, little known about the long-run impact of these laws on abortions and births. Using an event-study analysis that exploits the state and time variation in the implementation of TRAP laws, I find that these laws are associated with a reduction in abortions of approximately 15%. This effect persists for up to 13 years after the law is implemented. There is evidence that TRAP laws have a positive impact on births, although this effect primarily occurs within the first five years of the law passing. There is also suggestive evidence of interstate travel for abortion. However, the combined effect of increased births and interstate travel do not fully account for the reduction in abortions in the TRAP state.