Economics of abortion: A scoping review protocol

Ernestina Coast, Samantha R. Lattof, Yana Van Der Meulen Rodgers, Brittany Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction Abortion is a common feature of people's reproductive lives. However, the economic implications of abortion and policies affecting abortion provision are poorly understood. This scoping review aims to systematically review social science literature for studies that have investigated the impact of abortion care (ie, un/safe abortion, post-abortion care) or abortion policies on economic outcomes at the micro-levels (ie, abortion seekers and their households), meso-levels (ie, communities and health systems) and macro-levels (ie, societies and nation states). Informed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline for protocols, this protocol details the scoping review's methodological and analytical approaches. Methods and analysis This scoping review will utilise the PRISMA extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) tool. Studies reporting on qualitative and/or quantitative data from any world region will be considered. For inclusion, studies must examine one of the following economic outcomes at the micro-levels, meso-levels and/or macro-levels: costs, benefits, impacts and/or value of abortion care or abortion policies. Searches will be conducted in eight electronic databases. We will conduct the searches and application of inclusion/exclusion criteria according to the PRISMA-ScR flow approach. No assessments of items' quality will be made, as the purpose of this scoping review is to synthesise and describe the coverage of the evidence. After extracting all data, we will inductively develop an economic framework around the economics of abortion. The analysis will synthesise the evidence base and identify knowledge gaps on the costs and benefits of abortion to stakeholders at various levels. Ethics and dissemination Formal ethical approval is not required, as primary data will not be collected in this study. The findings of this study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and condensed summaries for key stakeholders and partners in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere029939
JournalBMJ open
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • abortion
  • economics
  • health economics
  • protocols and guidelines
  • reproductive health
  • scoping review


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