Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's behind the drop in abortions among minors?

Analyzing the Effect of State Legislation on the Incidence of Abortion Among Minors

A few interesting points:
* Between 1990 and 1999, reported legal abortions fell 18.4%
* By 2000, informed consent laws were in effect in 27 states.
* Between 1985 and 1999, the abortion rate for minors fell over 50%, from 13.5 abortions per 1,000 girls to 6.5 abortions per 1,000 girls.
* Studies found an increase in the 1990s of teens delaying or abstaining from sex.
* Parental involvement laws reduced the abortion rate among minors by about 1.67 abortions per 1,000 girls.
* The number of states with parental involvement laws grew from 20 in 1992 to 32 in 2000.
* Medicaid funding restrictions reduced abortions among minors by an average of 2.34 abortions per 1,000 girls.

The author looks at changes in abortion rates overall compared to changes in abortion rates among minors for the various laws, as summarized on this chart.

He also examines if a values shift prompted both the legislation and the fall in abortion rates, by comparing abortion rate changes in states where the laws were actually enacted versus states where the laws were enjoined by the courts -- where, in effect, judges prevented the public from putting their shifting values into law. The results of enacted versus nullified parental involvement laws are on this chart.


Christina Dunigan said...

We've been over this ground before. You love abortion. I love people. We're not going to see eye to eye on this.

Christina Dunigan said...

Of course I hate abortion. Abortion kills people.

Christina Dunigan said...

On occasion, shooting somebody saves people. If some maniac is going crazy with a machete, it may well save lives if somebody shoots the maniac. But that doesn't justify a sweeping "Shooting people saves lives" statement.

On very rare occasions, there can be an obstetrical emergency where it is necessary to end the pregnancy before the fetus is viable. That's a case where prematurely ending the pregnancy -- go ahead and call a spade a spade and say it's an abortion -- is also saving somebody. But that hardly makes abortion some inherently palliative thing.

Like shooting somebody, it ought to be a desperate, last-ditch action, not a default response.

Anonymous said...

How is pushing girls back to their abusive families loving people?

You are all for pushing girls back to their abusive families. If a girl is being abused, your thought is not, "How do we get this girl away from that?" but "How can we kill her baby?" -- when the girl might even want to let her baby live.

Christina Dunigan said...

I've always wondered how scraping her out and returning her to her abuser helped anybody. Spring Adams was sent to stay with her abusers while people arranged a secret, out-of-state abortion, and he shot her dead in her bed.

Why is it that some people act as if abortion somehow cures the abuse?

Christina Dunigan said...

Tlaloc, people don't self-diagnose and self-refer for bypasses or dialysis.

Christina Dunigan said...

They do self-diagnose and self-refer for abortions. The clinic may (should) confirm the pregnancy, and will (should) determine how far advanced the pregnancy is, but "pregnant" doesn't equal "medically requires an abortion".

Christina Dunigan said...

Well what is your solution? returning her to her parents *without* the abortion.

Either removing the girl from the abusive home, or removing (and jailing) the abuser. Depending on the situation, maybe both. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Returning her for more abuse? That may be S.O.P., but it doesn't make it helpful or right.

An underage girl showing up at an abortion clinic -- or a birth control facility of any kind -- ought not to be treated like an adult. She's not. She's a child. We have certain responsibilities toward her as a society and the fact that she walks into a birth prevention facility ought not to negate that.

Christina Dunigan said...

Underage girls don't get confidentiality unless they're in a situation where they're likely to be being abused. Then suddenly it's all secrecy. Isn't that odd? Why is it the very fact that somebody's having sex with her when she's under the age of consent that suddenly it's "Don't tell her parents!" As soon as there's solid evidence that she's a victim of statutory rape, that very evidence becomes justification for "confidentiality." Who does it serve? Her abuser.

Tlaloc said...

"Underage girls don't get confidentiality unless they're in a situation where they're likely to be being abused. Then suddenly it's all secrecy. Isn't that odd?"

Yes it is, they should have confidentiality from a doctor, lawyer, or priest in all cases.

"Why is it the very fact that somebody's having sex with her when she's under the age of consent that suddenly it's "Don't tell her parents!""

It isn't. Regardless of why she wants the abortion or who is sleeping with her the parents should not be told by the abortion provider. If she can tell her parents she should, but she's really the only one who knows.

You seem to be saying that parental consent laws are only fought in cases of statutory rape. I assure you that isn't the case. They are fought in all cases. We just voted one down here in Oregon in november that was in no way specific to statutory rape.

Christina Dunigan said...

Yeah, Jason, God forbid some child abuser get caught and put in prison. Let's make sure that his privacy is protected by law.

Christina Dunigan said...

I'd want ANYBODY who knows a child is being abused to report it.

And how is getting the girl out of an abusive situation "throwing her to the wolves"? Since when is stopping child abuse an act of cruelty to the child who is being abused?