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State Laws That Lower Abortions

The U.S. House of Representatives and many state legislatures are considering new abortion-related policies, but will these efforts actually result in fewer abortions?

A new study suggests that the number of abortions is reduced when states enact parental involvement/consent laws, informed consent laws, and restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion. University of Alabama political science professor Michael J. New published the study in the March State Politics & Policy Quarterly.

Parental involvement laws require minors who are seeking an abortion to have the approval of a parent. Informed consent laws require doctors to inform women on the risks associated with an abortion, details about fetal development, and the resources available for pregnant women and mothers. As of 2005, 33 states had parental involvement laws on the books, and 34 had informed consent requirements.

Both types of laws were unconstitutional prior to the 1992 Casey decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then the ...

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