New Evidence on the Effects of Mandatory Waiting Periods for Abortion. Academic Article uri icon


  • Beyond a handful of studies examining early-adopting states in the early 1990s, little is known about the causal effects of mandatory waiting periods for abortion. In this study we evaluate the effects of a Tennessee law enacted in 2015 that requires women to make an additional trip to abortion providers for state-directed counseling at least 48 hours before they can obtain an abortion. Our difference-in-differences and synthetic-control estimates indicate that the introduction of the mandatory waiting period caused a 53-69 percent increase in the share of abortions obtained during the second trimester. Our analysis examining overall abortion rates is less conclusive but suggests a reduction caused by the waiting period. To put these estimates into context, we provide back-of-the-envelope calculations on the additional monetary costs that Tennessee's MWP imposes on women seeking abortions.

published proceedings

  • J Health Econ

altmetric score

  • 21.98

author list (cited authors)

  • Lindo, J. M., & Pineda-Torres, M.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Lindo, Jason M||Pineda-Torres, Mayra

publication date

  • December 2021