Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Permission Slip Required?

In light of the decision of the South Dakota Governor's decision to sign into law a measure banning all abortions, except when necessary to save the mother's life, the already heated debate is now going to go into fever pitch, and will likely remain there until this goes to the Supreme Court as the test case for Roe v. Wade.

So that's why I found an article in today's State Journal-Register all the more interesting. I can't do the article justice here, but it discusses a New York Times analysis indicating that parental consent laws are having no impact on reducing abortions in those states that have them. You should read the whole article, but here are some excerpts:
Yet the Times analysis of the states that enacted laws between 1995 and 2004 - most of which had low abortion rates to begin with - found no evidence that the laws had a significant impact on the number of minors who got pregnant, or, once pregnant, the number who had abortions. A separate analysis considered whether the existence or absence of a law could be used to predict whether abortions went up or down. It could not. The six states studied are in the South and West: Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia...

Supporters of the laws say they promote better decision-making and reduce teenage abortions; opponents say they chip away at abortion rights and endanger young lives by exposing them to potentially violent reaction from some parents...

But some workers and doctors at abortion clinics said that the laws had little connection with the real lives of most teenagers, and that they more often saw parents pressing their daughters to have abortions than trying to stop them. And many teenagers say they never considered hiding their pregnancies or abortion plans from their mothers...

Of the remaining decline in teenage abortion rates in the Times study, Joyce said that some of it might be attributed to minors going out of state for abortions. The health departments in these states do not track data on such abortions, but in three previous studies of states where such data were available, completed before 1991, two found that any drop in minors' abortions was matched by an increase in minors getting abortions out of state.

Obviously, studies like this can (and will) be manipulated to show whatever it is you want to show, but in light of the happenings in South Dakota today, I just thought that it made for some interesting thought.

5 Comments:

At March 6, 2006 at 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know where you get all these really cool graphics for your blog....they are very funny.

 
At March 6, 2006 at 10:49 PM, Anonymous Former Minion said...

Um, it's a chart. Seriously though, it's amazing what you can find if you know where to look. I asked him before and he said he gets most of them from Google images.

 
At March 7, 2006 at 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am SHOCKED that Stanek didn't chime in on this post. SHOCKED I say!

 
At March 10, 2006 at 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Fritchey-I appreciate your weighing in on the parental notification issue, but I also think it's important to highlight an AP story which appeared after the NY Times article. It discussed a study in yesterday's New England Journal of Medicine which concluded:
"Abortion rates declined significantly among Texas girls -- though some got riskier abortions later in pregnancy -- after the state enacted a parental notification law."

It also referenced the NY Times article saying that:
"The New York Times conducted its own analysis of abortion rates in Texas and five other states and concluded in a story Monday that parental involvement laws have had little effect there. Joyce said that analysis had a different outcome because it included two states with tiny populations, one state where the law was overturned, and two states near areas where abortion is easily accessible without parental involvement."

As a pro-life Democrat, I think it's important to have open, respectful conversations on this topic. Both sides should be able to agree on wanting to see a reduction -- and end -- to abortions. We should continue to dialogue about how to reach that goal.

 
At March 12, 2006 at 1:20 AM, Anonymous Aakash said...

I see, via the map provided here, that our state is one of those with the stripes... in which there are one or more laws not being enforced.

With the Democrats in the Governor's Mansion (oh wait... he thinks it's in Chicago) and in the Attorney General's office, this is not a surprise.

Parental notification and consent laws have overwhelming support from the public, including from those who are "pro-choice."

I was recently looking at this article from 2004, written by a pro-life leader, in opposition to the past attempt by the South Dakota legislature to have a law enacted banning abortion. While at least one of the predictions made by that author have turned out to be wrong, what is particularly notable in that article is the author's citation of Harvard-MIT researcher Michael New (who I met at CPAC) and who has no connection to U.S. Army Spc. Michael New [whose case is actually still ongoing!]). According to the study citied in that article, which is found here (at the website of the Heritage Foundation), abortions declined during the 1990s, due in part to laws prohibiting its public funding, as well as laws requiring parental notice or consent.

And I remember this entry from our friends at 'Save the GOP,' which pointed out how South Dakota had found ways to largely reduce the amount of abortions in that state. This is the Washington Post article referenced.

With regard to this issue, even one senseless killing prevented, due to parental notification or consent legislation, makes said statutes worth it. While our focus must always remain on getting legislation enacted that protects the life rights of all people [regardless of age or disability], and ending abortion for good, until the time when that goal can be attained, any reasonable legislative measure that can contribute to preventing abortions should be supported.

Let us hope that our state can, before long, begin to pass more laws such as this... and that some of us will live to see the day when it is illegal to murder other human beings in our country, for reasons simply due to age or disability.

 

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