HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

How Does a Ban on Sex-Selective Abortions Affect Child Health?

Aparajita Dasgupta (Ashoka University), Anisha Sharma (Ashoka University), How Does a Ban on Sex-Selective Abortions Affect Child Health?, SSRN (2022):

Bans on sex-selective abortions, typically implemented to make sex ratios more equitable, may have adverse welfare consequences on surviving children. Exploiting the intertemporal variation in the implementation of a ban on sex-screening and sex-selection in India, we examine the impact of the ban on postnatal health outcomes. Using the observation that sex-selective abortions are more likely to occur among families with firstborn girls, we study whether the ban on sex-selective abortion worsens the relative health and mortality outcomes for children in firstborn female families. Second, we examine if the gender gap in health outcomes worsens post ban. Our findings indicate worsening of health outcomes along {\it both} these margins. The results operate through two main channels: an increase in fertility in intensively treated families with firstborn girls leading to greater competition among siblings for resources and an increase in the proportion of `unwanted' girls.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2022/08/how-does-a-ban-on-sex-selective-abortions-affect-child-health.html

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