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Mandatory parental involvement in minor's abortions: Effects of the laws in Minnesota, Missouri, and Indiana


  • Ellertson, C.


Objectives. This study examined the effects of parental involvement laws on the birthrate, 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 instate 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 birthrates 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 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellertson, C., 1997. "Mandatory parental involvement in minor's abortions: Effects of the laws in Minnesota, Missouri, and Indiana," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 87(8), pages 1367-1374.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:8:1367-1374_8

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    Cited by:

    1. Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
    2. Silvie Colman & Theodore J. Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 2006. "Methodological Issues in the Evaluation of Parental Involvement Laws: Evidence from Texas," NBER Working Papers 12608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ted Joyce & Robert Kaestner, 2001. "The Impact of Mandatory Waiting Periods and Parental Consent Laws on the Timing of Abortion and State of Occurrence among Adolescents in Mississippi and South Carolina," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 263-282.
    4. Theodore J. Joyce & Robert Kaestner & Jason Ward, 2020. "The Impact of Parental Involvement Laws on the Abortion Rate of Minors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(1), pages 323-346, February.

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