As of January 1997, 34 states were enforcing restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortions. Determining whether these restrictions affect women's reproductive decisions was the object of a fixed-effects log-linear analysis using 11 years of data between 1978 and 1992. Results indicate that abortion rates in states with Medicaid funding restrictions are 2% lower than rates in states with no such restrictions. However, when the supply of abortion providers and the demographic characteristics of the state population are taken into account, the difference is no longer statistically significant. Medicaid funding restrictions have no impact on birthrates, and the result is the same regardless of whether the empirical model takes into account provider availability, demographic characteristics and state sentiment toward women and reproductive rights.
(Family Planning Perspectives, 29:228-233, 1997)