Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parental Involvement Laws

It looks like Texas' parental involvement laws have a significant impact on the number of teenagers getting abortions. According to NRO writer Michael New, 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.

My recently released Family Research Council study contributes to this body of research. It is actually the first study that compares the effect of different types of pro-life parental-involvement legislation. The results indicate that parental-involvement laws reduce the minor abortion rate by 13 percent — a finding that is consistent with other research on the subject. However, state laws that require parental consent instead of parental notification are even more effective, reducing the abortion rate by an average of 19 percent. This finding held true for all age groups that were analyzed — 17-year-olds, 16-year-olds, and 15-year-olds.

I think that these laws are a step in the right direction on two fronts. 1. Reducing abortions is a good thing. 2. Parents need to be more involved in their teens' lives anyway.

All of these kinds of laws will be done away with if Obama and a Democrat House and Senate have their way. Obama has said he will sign FOCA which will undue all parental involvement laws as well as other restrictions on abortions.

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