Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

History and scientific background on the economics of abortion

Moore, Brittany, Van Der Meulen Rodgers, Yana, Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X, Lattof, Samantha R. ORCID: 0000-0003-0934-1488 and Poss, Cheri (2021) History and scientific background on the economics of abortion. PLOS ONE, 16 (9). ISSN 1932-6203

[img] Text (journal.pone.0257360) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (380kB)

Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257360


Background Approximately one quarter of all pregnancies globally end in abortion, making it one of the most common gynecological practices worldwide. Despite the high incidence of abortion around the globe, the synthesis of known economic outcomes of abortion care and policies is lacking. Using data from a systematic scoping review, we synthesized the literature on the economics of abortion at the microeconomic, mesoeconomic, and mesoeconomic levels and presented the results in a collection of studies. This article describes the history and scientific background for collection, presents the scoping review framework, and discusses the value of this knowledge base. Methods and findings We conducted a scoping review using the PRISMA extension for Scoping Reviews. Studies reporting on qualitative and/or quantitative data from any world region were considered. For inclusion, studies must have examined one of the following outcomes: costs, impacts, benefits, and/or value of abortion-related care or policies. Our searches yielded 19,653 unique items, of which 365 items were included in our final inventory. Studies most often reported costs (n = 262), followed by impacts (n = 140), benefits (n = 58), and values (n = 40). Approximately one quarter (89/365) of studies contained information on the secondary outcome on stigma. Economic factors can lead to a delay in abortion care-seeking and can restrict health systems from adequately meeting the demand for abortion services. Provision of post-abortion care (PAC) services requires more resources then safe abortion services. Lack of insurance or public funding for abortion services can increase the cost of services and the overall economic impact on individuals both seeking and providing care. Conclusions Consistent economic themes emerge from research on abortion, though evidence gaps remain that need to be addressed through more standardized methods and consideration to framing of abortion issues in economics terms. Given the highly charged political nature of abortion around the world, it is imperative that researchers continue to build the evidence base on economic outcomes of abortion services and regulations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 14:48
Last Modified: 31 May 2024 01:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics