Concerned Parents  Report © is dedicated to reporting information and imparting knowledge to parents so they can empower their children to make the healthiest choice for their reproductive health - living a  chaste lifestyle

 
Summary: Importance of Parental Involvement Laws

A few studies and backers of parental involvement laws have suggested it is possible that a teen may be more reluctant to have sex if she knows she would be forced to tell a parent if she became pregnant and wanted an abortion.

  • According to an article written in The Oregonian, twenty-five years after the courts first allowed states to prohibit teens younger than 18 from having an abortion without a parent’s knowledge, Oregon remains among a few states with no such law. Measure 43, on the November ballot, would require a parent to be notified 48 hours before a 15-, 16-, or 17-year-old daughter could have an abortion. Academic researchers have found that the abortion rate has dropped as much as 20 percent among underage teens in states with laws requiring parents either to be notified of their daughter’s planned abortion or to consent to the procedure. Thirty-four states currently require some parental involvement in a teen’s abortion decision. About 10 other states have passed similar laws, though they have been held up in court. Measure 43 comes as teen pregnancy and birth rates in Oregon and across the nation have decreased significantly in the past decade, although no one is quite sure why. A few studies and backers of parental involvement laws have suggested it is possible that a teen may be more reluctant to have sex if she knows she would be forced to tell a parent if she became pregnant and wanted an abortion. Among the most recent studies is a 2006 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers decided to look at Texas because it is a large state and the only bordering state that allowed teens to have an abortion without a parent knowing was New Mexico. The researchers found that after the abortion notification law took effect in Texas, abortion rates fell by 11 percent among 15-year-olds, 20 percent among 16-year-olds and 16 percent among 17-year-olds. Though state and national abortion rates are declining, researchers noted that Texas’ declines appeared to be greater because of the law.1

1State Enters Debate Over Abortion, Parent Role, The Oregonian, October 10, 2006, pp. 1-3.

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