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date: 15 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Changes in childbearing affect almost every aspect of human existence. Over the last fifty years, American women have experienced dramatic changes in the ease and convenience of timing and limiting childbearing, ranging from the introduction of the birth control pill and the legalization of abortion to more recent availability of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). This chapter chronicles these changes, provides descriptive evidence regarding trends in the use of contraception and abortion, and reviews the literature linking them to changes in childbearing and women’s economic outcomes. It concludes by discussing the recent surge in LARC use, which seems to be one of the most pressing areas in need of further research.

Keywords: contraception, abortion, birth control, reproductive health, childbearing

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