Thursday, September 25, 2008

Study: Parental Involvement Reduces Teen Abortion

There’s solid evidence that well-designed laws can protect mothers and their unborn children.

-- From "A Parental-Involvement Opportunity" by Michael J. New, University of Alabama, posted at National Review Online 9/16/08

[Parental-involvement] laws enjoy broad support and unlike other laws limiting abortion, they can be easily justified as a parental-rights issue. Furthermore, my recent study for the Family Research Council provides evidence that well designed parental-involvement laws have been surprisingly effective at reducing abortion rates among minors.

Indeed, there are a number of academic and policy studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of pro-life parental-involvement laws. Four studies in peer-reviewed academic journals use time-series, cross-sectional data to simultaneously analyze all the enacted pro-life parental-involvement laws over an extended period of time. These studies find that these pieces of legislation reduce the in-state minor abortion rate by anywhere from 13 to 19 percent. Case studies of parental-involvement laws that have been enacted in Massachusetts, Indiana, Missouri, and Minnesota arrive at similar conclusions about the effects of parental-involvement laws.

However, the best case study of a pro-life parental-involvement law appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. This study analyzed the Texas parental-notification law that took effect in 2000. The authors found that the law resulted in statistically significant declines in the abortion rate in Texas among 15-year-olds, 16-year-olds, and 17-year-olds. Now the authors did find some evidence that some 17-year-olds were able to circumvent the law by waiting until their 18th birthday to have an abortion. However, they found little evidence that Texas minors were circumventing the law by obtaining abortions in neighboring states.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.