The Impact of Laws Requiring Parental Involvement for Abortion: A Literature Review

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Guttmacher Institute

State laws that require minors to notify their parents before they receive an abortion do not significantly reduce abortion rates, according to this reproductive rights organization.

Last year, 34 states had laws requiring parental notification or parental consent in order for a pregnant minor to obtain an abortion, usually one to two days prior to the procedure. Seven other states were locked in court battles over the legality of consent laws.

Minors undergo approximately 7 percent of all abortions in the United States, and 40 percent of those juveniles do not inform their parents, according to the report.

The authors reviewed 29 studies on abortion consent laws. They concluded that parental notification laws can significantly increase the number of minors who leave their home states to obtain an abortion in states with less restrictive laws. This effect varies widely, however, depending on the law, the geography of the state and the laws of neighboring states.

The report disputes studies that claim to show a conclusive relationship between consent laws and declines in abortion rates. It also says few studies have examined the effect of consent laws on the cost of obtaining abortions or on the well-being of pregnant teens. Free, 41 pages. (212) 248-1111,