State family planning and abortion expenditures: their effect on public health.
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OBJECTIVES: This study examines whether state family planning expenditures and abortion funding for Medicaid-eligible women might reduce the number of low-birthweight babies, babies with late or no prenatal care, and premature births, as well as the rates of infant and neonatal mortality. METHODS: Using a pooled time-series analysis from 1982 to 1988 with the 50 states as units of analysis, this study assessed the impact of family planning expenditures and abortion funding on several public health outcomes while controlling for other important variables and statistical problems inherent in pooled time-series studies. RESULTS: States that funded abortions had a significantly higher rate of abortions and significantly lower rates of teen pregnancy, low-birthweight babies, premature births, and births with late or no prenatal care. States that had higher expenditures for family planning had significantly fewer abortions, low-birthweight babies, births with late or no prenatal care, infant deaths, and neonatal deaths. CONCLUSIONS: Funding abortions for Medicaid-eligible women and increasing the level of expenditures for family planning are associated with major differences in infant and maternal health in the United States.
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Meier, K. J., & McFarlane, D. R.
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