Now Parental Notification Does Reduce Abortions

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A few days ago I remarked on the NY Times abortion study that got plenty of coverage from the press and pro-choice groups. Today I have a feeling said paper will overlook the results of this study:

Abortion rates declined significantly among Texas girls -- though some got riskier abortions later in pregnancy -- after the state enacted a parental notification law, researchers say.

The findings could have a strong influence on the abortion debate. Texas is the biggest of 35 states that require minors to notify their parents or get their consent before obtaining an abortion, although a judge can usually grant a waiver.

Researchers at Baruch College at City University of New York studied the records of teen abortions and births for the two years before the Texas law took effect on Jan. 1, 2000, and for three years afterward.

Abortion rates dropped for girls ages 15 through 18, even though the 18-year-olds were not subject to the law. But the drop was more pronounced among the younger girls. Their rates fell 11 percent to 20 percent more than the rate among the 18-year-olds did.
Again, I don't believe parental notification laws go far enough. Minors should be required to have permission from their parents before getting abortions, just as they must be accompanied by them to R-rated movies. Which of the two cases is more potentially harmful to the child?

And to the many e-mailers who scream kids will now be subjected to abusive parents, there's always another method. Judges are available to minors who can obtain waivers. If you're mature enough to be engaging in sex, you're mature enough to use the legal system to your advantage.