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How Far Is Too Far? New Evidence on Abortion Clinic Closures, Access, and Abortions

Jason M. Lindo, Caitlin Myers, Andrea Schlosser, Scott Cunningham

NBER Working Paper No. 23366
Issued in April 2017, Revised in August 2018
NBER Program(s):Program on Children, Health Care Program, Health Economics Program, Law and Economics Program, Public Economics Program

We document the effects of abortion-clinic closures on clinic access, abortions, and births using variation generated by a law that shuttered nearly half of Texas' clinics. Increases in distance have significant effects for women initially living within 200 miles of a clinic. The largest effect is for those nearest to clinics for whom a 25-mile increase reduces abortion 10%. We also demonstrate the importance of congestion with a proxy capturing effects of closures which have little impact on distance but which reduce clinics per-capita. These effects account for 59% of the effects of clinic closures on abortion.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23366

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