State Abortion Policies, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider Laws, and Abortion Demand



Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider laws (or TRAP laws) are state laws that apply only to abortion providers and impose on them licensing fees, physical plant/personnel regulations, and requirements that exceed those imposed on other comparable health-care providers or medical facilities. According to prochoice supporters, the explicit or implicit goal of TRAP laws is to drive abortion providers from the market and reduce the supply of abortion services. This paper examines whether a state TRAP licensing fee or a TRAP plant/personnel law also has an independent impact on women's demand for abortion over the period 1982–2005. The empirical results find that neither state TRAP law has a statistically significant independent effect on women's abortion demand. The empirical results remain robust even after controlling for time-varying factors or the time period after the Supreme Court's landmark 1992 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey decision.