Antón Pérez, José Ignacio Ferre, Zuleika Triunfo, Patricia
Year of Publication:
Working Paper 1606
This work evaluates the impact of an abortion reform in Uruguay allowing free interruption of pregnancy until 12 weeks of gestation on the quantity and quality of births in the short run. We employ a differences-in-differences approach, a comprehensive administrative register of births and a novel identification strategy based on the planned or unplanned nature of pregnancies that end in births. Our results suggest that this policy induced an 8% decline in the number of births of unplanned pregnancies, driven by the group of mothers between 20 and 34 years old with secondary education. This increased the average quality of births in terms of more intensive prenatal control care and a lower probability of having a single mother. Furthermore, we document a positive selection process of births affected by the reform, as adequate prenatal control care and Apgar scores rose among the affected demographic group.