Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-06-06

Parental Notification Laws Do Not Lower Abortion Rates

A recent analysis of states that enacted parental notification or consent laws has shown that the addition of these requirements did not lead to a decline in the abortion rate among teenagers. The study was conducted by the New York Times, which released its findings today. Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia were studied, as they enacted parental involvement laws between 1995 and 2004, allowing researchers to track changes in teenage pregnancy and abortion rates over the past decade. The study found that these laws did not cause decreases in pregnancies or abortions, and could not be used to predict any changes in the abortion rate. In fact, abortions among teenagers rose slightly in Arizona, Idaho, and Tennessee.

According to the New York Times, the lack of a traceable effect from parental notification laws may be explained by the simple idea that most teenagers would tell their parents about a pregnancy whether there was a legal requirement or not. This made the reality of these laws irrelevant to many young women, although the laws negatively affected young women who faced unstable or abusive family relationships and had to obtain a judicial bypass before getting an abortion.

Furthermore, the laws may have the unintended consequence of leading to unsafe home abortions. Renee Chelian, director of Northland Family Planning Centers told the Times, “When we tell them they need to go to court or tell their parents, that's when they tell us there's a Web site,” that claims to tell users how to induce an abortion.

LEARN MORE Read a personal account about the process of getting a judicial bypass in the current issue of Ms. magazine, on newsstands nationwide

JOIN Ms. and receive the premier feminist magazine delivered to your door

Media Resources: Kaiser Network 3/6/06; New York Times 3/6/06


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
 
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms. The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .