Abortion rates are increasing all around the world, especially for young women. Our proposals for public policies to reduce unwanted pregnancies are based on an analysis of the socio-economic determinants of abortion rates. Special attention is paid to regional levels of alcohol consumption, living conditions, and public spending on health and education. We carry out estimations using data on regions in Spain from 1999 to 2004. There is empirical evidence that socioeconomic conditions, lifestyles and regional characteristics determine regional abortion rates. Our results suggest that it is important to design public policies to reduce alcohol abuse, improve citizens’ working conditions and promote gender equality through government subsidized childcare.