The Effect of Anti-Abortion Legislation on Nineteenth Century Fertility Academic Article uri icon


  • Using nineteenth century legal information combined with census information, I examine the effect of state laws that restricted American women's access to abortion on the ratio of children to women. I estimate an increase in the birthrate of 4 % to 12 % when abortion is restricted. In the absence of anti-abortion laws, fertility would have been 5 % to 12 % lower in the early twentieth century.

published proceedings

  • Demography

altmetric score

  • 4.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Lahey, J. N.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Lahey, Joanna N

publication date

  • April 2014