Induced Abortion and the Mexico City Policy in Africa

Eran Bendavid, Stanford University
Patrick Avila, Stanford University
Grant Miller, Stanford University and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

The Mexico City Policy is an intermittent American foreign policy prohibiting non-governmental organizations receiving federal support from promoting abortion. We use survey data from 20 African countries between 1994 and 2008 to identify women who had induced abortions. Using a difference-in-difference model, we estimate the odds ratio of having an induced abortion for women living in countries highly exposed to the Mexico City Policy. The mean abortion rate was 10.4 per 10,000 woman-years from 1994 to 2000 and 14.5 from 2001 to 2008 (p<0.001). The increase is pronounced among women living in highly exposed countries. The adjusted odds ratio of having an induced abortion for a woman living in a highly exposed country between 2001 and 2008 is 2.47 (95% CI 1.67-3.65, p=0.001). We speculate this is due to declining financial support for family planning providers coupled with substitution from family planning services to abortion among African women.

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Presented in Session 93: Abortion I