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Very young adolescent women in Georgia: Has abortion or contraception lowered their fertility?


  • Shelton, J.D.


Despite a state law enacted in 1972 which allowed minors to obtain contraceptive services without parental consent, births to very young women in Georgia (age 14 and less) have risen in recent years. Beginning in 1974, however, this trend has reversed. Increased access to induced abortion following the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision appears to have been responsible for the decline. Supporting this assertion are: the temporal relationship between increased access to abortion and the decline in births, the geographic evidence that the decline in births occurred first in Atlanta where abortion utilization is the highest and then followed in areas with somewhat more limited utilization, and a similar observation that the decline occurred earlier and more markedly among young white teenagers whose abortion utilization is higher. Although abortion appears to have had the most visible impact on births, most people would probably agree that efforts toward providing contraception to these young women remain worth the challenge. The ratio of young teenagers accepting contraceptives to young teenagers getting pregnant is suggested as a useful intermediate indicator of the success of family planning programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Shelton, J.D., 1977. "Very young adolescent women in Georgia: Has abortion or contraception lowered their fertility?," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 67(7), pages 616-620.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1977:67:7:616-620_4

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    Cited by:

    1. Theodore J. Joyce, 1985. "The Impact of Induced Abortion on Birth Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Theodore Joyce, 1987. "The impact of induced abortion on black and white birth outcomes in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(2), pages 229-244, May.
    3. Theodore J. Joyce, 1986. "The Demand for Health Inputs and Their Impact on the Black Neonatal Mortality Rate in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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