Availability and Use of Abortion Services

Liza Fuentes, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR)

A longstanding issue in reproductive health is the association between availability and use of services. This study uses unique data to contribute analyses relevant to the understanding of the effect of availability on abortion use. Abortion surveillance data from four states are used to estimate the association of travel distance to abortion providers with three outcomes: abortion rates, gestational age at abortion, and unintended births. If travel distance is primarily determined by demand because providers locate where women need abortions, then we expect it to be associated with decreased abortion rates only. However, if travel distance represents a significant cost or barrier to obtaining an abortion, then in addition to lower abortion rates, travel distance would also be associated with later gestational ages among women receiving abortions, and increased unintended births. This study presents analyses testing this framework for inferring the casual effect of travel distance on abortion use.

Presented in Poster Session 1