Parental Notification Laws Do Not Reduce Abortion Rates
The New York Times has conducted an analysis that shows laws requiring minors to notify their parents or get permission before having an abortion have not caused teenage abortions rates to drastically drop. The analysis looked at six of the 34 states that have passed parental notification laws in the last decade: Arizona, South Dakota, Texas, Idaho, Tennesee and Virginia:
Abortion rates have been dropping nationwide since the mid-1980's, most precipitously for teenagers. But in three states -- Arizona, Idaho and Tennessee -- the percentage of pregnant minors who had abortions rose slightly after the consent laws went into effect.
When the Times study compared the first full year after a state began enforcing a parental law with the last full year before the law, it found that abortions among minors dropped an average of 9 percent. But in the same period, the rates for pregnant 18- and 19-year-olds, who were not affected by the law, dropped by 5 percent, suggesting that most of the drop among minors was associated with other factors that affected minors and adults alike.