April 2020

IZA DP No. 13134: Access to The Emergency Contraceptive Pill Improves Women's Health: Evidence from Chile

Damian Clarke, Viviana Salinas

R&R Demography

We examine the sharp expansion in availability of the emergency contraceptive pill in Chile following legalized access through municipal public health-care centres. Combining a number of administrative datasets on health outcomes and pharmaceutical use, and using difference-in-difference and event study methods, we document that this expansion improved women's reproductive health outcomes, particularly reducing rates of haemorrhage early in pregnancy. These improvements are most notable in areas of the country in which the rollout of the pill was largest. We also document some evidence that refusal to grant the pill upon a women's request is linked with a worsening in reproductive health outcomes.