Decreased rates of youth suicide, risky sex and sexually transmitted diseases, reduced abortion rates, protecting the adolescent from sexual abuse – why wouldn’t families want parental notification laws!
Here’s the evidence that the politicians seemed to want to ignore….
THE EFFECT OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT LAWS ON YOUTH SUICIDE
A 2012 study by Joseph Sabia and Daniel Rees, researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Colorado, Denver, found that States that have parental notification laws also see a drop in the suicide rate of girls ages 15 through 17. The researchers conclude that “the adoption of a parental involvement law is associated with an 11%-21% decrease in the number of 15- through 17-year-old females who commit suicide.”
ABORTION ACCESS AND RISKY SEX AMONG TEENS: PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT LAWS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
According to this 2006 study, abortion notification and consent laws actually reduce risky sexual behavior among teenagers. The finding is the result of data collected from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and examined by Jonathan Klick, Florida State University College of Law professor, and Thomas Stratmann, economics professor at George Mason University. They discovered that teen gonorrhea rates decreased by an average of 20 percent among Hispanic girls and by an average of 12 percent among white girls in states where consent laws were practiced. Therefore, the laws function as an incentive for girls to engage in less risky sex activities since they do not want to face their parents with news of a pregnancy or plans for an abortion.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT REDUCES ABORTION RATES FOR MINORS BY 15%
A 2011 study by Michael New, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama, entitled “Analyzing the Effect of Anti-Abortion U.S. State Legislation in the Post-Casey Era” says that parental involvement laws were found to reduce in-state abortion rates for minors by approximately 15 percent.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT AND CONSENT FOR A MINOR’S ABORTION
American College of Pediatricians – May 2016
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children. Their paper on parental notification covers some key points:
- Neuroscience research notes that the area of the brain involved in critical thinking and decision-making does not reach full maturity until the early to mid-twenties
- Abortion should be treated as any other medical / surgical procedure
- Pregnant adolescents benefit from parental involvement
- Parental involvement protects an adolescent from sexual abuse
- Parental involvement does not cause a delay in obtaining abortions for those who choose this option
- Parental involvement does not contribute to family violence
- Parental involvement encourages the correct view of family
- Parental involvement laws benefit the adolescent, the family, and society
- Abortion has long-term consequences for the adolescent
They conclude: “Adolescents need the advice and involvement of their parents. As more is learned about the immaturity of the adolescent brain, especially in the development of the decision-making frontal lobes, it is obvious that parents should be allowed to guide their teens in all medical decisions, including decisions regarding pregnancy. Legislation mandating or encouraging parental involvement in decisions related to a minor’s pregnancy protects adolescents during a very vulnerable time in their lives. Society recognizes this need, and often requires and encourages parents to be a positive resource for their adolescents in matters of health, and other issues of consequence. Therefore, excluding them from a minor’s decision about abortion cannot be justified.”
CHILDREN CONSENTING TO ABORTION IN NEW ZEALAND: AN ETHICAL AND LEGAL CRITIQUE
This article by Otago University masters law student Michael Morrison, and published in the April 2015 edition of the Asian Bioethics Review demonstrates that most female adolescents only start to acquire sufficient autonomous capacity from the age of 14 years and as such the legislative wording of s 38 COCA is problematic and arguably careless.