Aftershocks

The Impact of Clinic Violence on Abortion Services

Published in: American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, v. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2011, p. 189-223

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2010

by Mireille Jacobson, Heather Royer

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Between 1973 and 2003, abortion providers in the United States were the targets of over 300 acts of extreme violence. Using unique data on attacks and on abortions, abortion providers, and births, we examine how anti-abortion violence has affected providers' decisions to perform abortions and women's decisions about whether and where to terminate a pregnancy. We find that clinic violence reduces abortion services in targeted areas. Once travel is taken into account, however, the overall effect of the violence is much smaller.

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