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Did Parental Involvement Laws Grow Teeth? The Effects of State Restrictions on Minors' Access to Abortion

Listed author(s):
  • Myers, Caitlin Knowles

    ()

    (Middlebury College)

  • Ladd, Daniel

    (University of California, Irvine)

Registered author(s):

    We compile data on the locations of abortion providers and enforcement of parental involvement laws to document dramatic increases in the distances minors must travel if they wish to obtain an abortion without involving a parent or judge. Between 1992 – the year the U.S. Supreme Court established the undue burden standard in Planned Parenthood v. Casey – and present, the average distance to a confidential abortion has increased from 55 to 454 miles. Using both double and triple-difference estimation strategies, we estimate the effects of parental involvement laws, and allow these effects to vary with the distances minors might travel to avoid them. Our results confirm previous findings that parental involvement laws did not increase teen births in the pre-Casey era, and provide new evidence that in more recent decades they have increased teen birth by an average of 3 percent. The estimated effects are increasing in avoidance distance to the point that a confidential abortion is more than a day's drive away, and also are 4 to 6 times greater in counties with high rates of poverty. We estimate that over the past 25 years, parental involvement laws have resulted in half a million additional teen births.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10952.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10952.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10952
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    1. Deborah Haas-Wilson, 1996. "The Impact of State Abortion Restrictions on Minors' Demand for Abortions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 140-158.
    2. Colman, Silvie & Dee, Thomas S. & Joyce, Ted, 2013. "Do parental involvement laws deter risky teen sex?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 873-880.
    3. Merz, J.F. & Jackson, C.A. & Klerman, J.A., 1995. "A Review of Abortion Policy: Legality, Medicaid Funding and Parental Involvement, 1967-1994," Papers 95-14, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    4. 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.
    5. Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Parental involvement laws and fertility behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 861-878, September.
    6. Joyce, Theodore & Kaestner, Robert, 1996. "State reproductive policies and adolescent pregnancy resolution: The case of parental involvement laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 579-607, October.
    7. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas Staiger, 1996. "Teen Motherhood and Abortion Access," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 467-506.
    8. Sabia, Joseph J. & Anderson, D. Mark, 2016. "The effect of parental involvement laws on teen birth control use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 55-62.
    9. Thomas Stratmann, 2008. "Abortion Access and Risky Sex Among Teens: Parental Involvement Laws and Sexually Transmitted Diseases," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 2-21, May.
    10. Robert Picard, 2010. "GEONEAR: Stata module to find nearest neighbors using geodetic distances," Statistical Software Components S457146, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Feb 2012.
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