Effects of Mandatory Waiting Periods for Abortions:

In light of the prominence of abortion regulation issues in Judge Alito's nomination, it is somewhat of an coincidence to see this important new paper by Jonathan Klick, "Mandatory Waiting Periods for Abortions and Female Mental Health."

Here's the abstract:

Proponents of laws requiring a waiting period before a woman can receive an abortion argue that these cooling off periods protect against rash decisions on the part of women in the event of unplanned pregnancies. Opponents claim, at best, waiting periods have no effect on decision-making and, at worst, they subject women to additional mental anguish and stress. In this article, I examine these competing claims using adult female suicide rates at the state level as a proxy for mental health. Panel data analyses suggest that the adoption of mandatory waiting periods reduce suicide rates by about 10 percent, and this effect is statistically significant. The result is robust to various attempts to control for unobservable heterogeneity and simultaneity.