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AIDing contraception: HIV and recent trends in abortion

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Using a difference-in-differences estimation framework and state-level data, we investigate the potential role of HIV/AIDS in contributing to declining abortion utilization in the United States. Our results suggest that the perceived risk of HIV contraction negatively affected unwanted pregnancies. Specifically, a 10% increase in HIV incidence is associated with 0.34–1.1% fewer abortions per live births, an effect that can account for at least one-tenth of the sharp decline in abortions observed from the early 1980s to mid-1990s.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; I10; I30; J13; abortions; fertility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, 38152, USA 2: Department of Economics, Rauch Business School, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 18015, USA 3: Department of Commerce, School of Business Administration, Niagara University, Lewiston, NY, 14109, USA

Publication date: 2014-05-24

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