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Health and Economic Consequences of the End of Roe

The Supreme Court of the United States has indicated that it will likely overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022. This reversal, based on the leaked opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, would rollback access to abortion healthcare and its impact would be felt nationwide. Research from The Turnaway Study shows that when people are unable to get wanted abortions, there are profound risks to their health and economic security as well as a shift in the trajectory of their lives with negative effects on their relationships, aspirational plans, and the wellbeing of their children. This follow-up, longitudinal study will focus on those denied abortion due to restrictions allowed under a Dobbs decision, and those served an abortion just before the decision.

Study Aims

Who is affected by new state bans on abortion?
What are the outcomes of pregnancies for people denied abortions?
What are the health, legal, and economic consequences of these different outcomes over two years?
What enables some people living in a state which bans abortions to get them anyway (either by traveling or self-managed abortion)?
How does concern about legal risk affect decision-making and behavior?

Study Design

The recruitment plan will go into effect the day that abortion clinics in vulnerable states are forced to alter their practice. Participating clinics will send individualized invitations to participate in a confidential survey by text or email to people who received and those denied abortions. We will invite people to do self-administered surveys via smartphone or computer every two months for two years (at $25 per survey).

Implications

The Turnaway Study shows that abortion denial causes harm. It also demonstrates that people who receive an abortion are more financially stable, set more ambitious goals, raise children under more stable conditions, and are more likely to have a wanted child later. This upcoming study will focus more on burdens to getting an abortion after denial, harm reduction strategies, and narrowing in on economic, health, and legal risk outcomes, rather than psychological.