Mandatory parental involvement in minors' abortions: Effects of the laws in Minnesota, Missouri, and Indiana
Ellertson C. Mandatory parental involvement in minors' abortions: Effects of the laws in Minnesota, Missouri, and Indiana. American Journal of Public Health. 1997 August; 87(8): 1367–1374
Objectives: This study examined the effects of parental involvement laws on the birth rate, in-state abortion rate, odds of interstate travel, and odds of late abortion for minors.
Methods: Poisson and logistic regression models fitted to vital records compared the periods before and after the laws were enforced.
Results: In each state, the in-state abortion rate for minors fell (relative to the rate for older women) when parental involvement laws took effect. Data offered no empirical support for the proposition that the laws drive up birth rates for minors. Although data were incomplete, the laws appeared to increase the odds of a minor's traveling out of state for her abortion. If one judges from the available data, minors who traveled out of state may have accounted for the entire observed decline in the in-state abortion rate, at least in Missouri. The laws appeared to delay minors' abortions past the eighth week, but probably not into the second trimester.
Conclusions: Several empirical arguments used against and in support of parental involvement laws do not appear to be substantiated.