Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The microeconomics of abortion: a scoping review and analysis of the economic consequences for abortion care-seekers

Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X, Lattof, Samantha R., Rodgers, Yana Van Der Meulen, Moore, Brittany and Poss, Cheri (2021) The microeconomics of abortion: a scoping review and analysis of the economic consequences for abortion care-seekers. PLOS ONE, 16 (6 June). ISSN 1932-6203

[img] Text (Coast_microeconomics-of-abortion--published) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (760kB)

Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252005


Background: The economic consequences of abortion care and abortion policies for individuals occur directly and indirectly. We lack synthesis of the economic costs, impacts, benefit or value of abortion care at the micro-level (i.e., individuals and households). This scoping review examines the microeconomic costs, benefits and consequences of abortion care and policies. Methods and findings: Searches were conducted in eight electronic databases and applied inclusion/exclusion criteria using the PRISMA extension for Scoping Reviews. For inclusion, studies must have examined at least one of the following outcomes: costs, impacts, benefits, and value of abortion care or abortion policies. Quantitative and qualitative data were extracted for descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Of the 230 included microeconomic studies, costs are the most frequently reported microeconomic outcome (n = 180), followed by impacts (n = 84), benefits (n = 39), and values (n = 26). Individual-level costs of abortion-related care have implications for the timing and type of care sought, globally. In contexts requiring multiple referrals or follow-up visits, these costs are multiplied. The ways in which people pay for abortion-related costs are diverse. The intersection between micro-level costs and delay(s) to abortion-related care is substantial. Individuals forego other costs and expenditures, or are pushed further into debt and/or poverty, in order to fund abortion-related care. The evidence base on the economic impacts of policy or law change is from high-income countries, dominated by studies from the United States. Conclusions: Delays underpinned by economic factors can thwart care-seeking, affect the type of care sought, and impact the gestational age at which care is sought or reached. The evidence base includes little evidence on the micro-level costs for adolescents. Specific sub-groups of abortion care-seekers (transgendered and/or disabled people) are absent from the evidence and it is likely that they may experience higher direct and indirect costs because they may experience greater barriers to abortion care.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2021 09:09
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 14:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics