A Minnesota study that found pregnancies among girls under 18 declined after a parental-notification abortion law was enacted proves the law makes them more responsible, said Rosa Goodnight, Right to Life of Utah president.
The study results, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health, "proves to us that not having parental consent gives girls the mind-set that being promiscuous, you don't have any repercussions," she said Tuesday.Mary Carlson, director of community services for Planned Parenthood of Utah, said the study's conclusion was illogical.
"It's hard for me to understand why people say that when you restrict abortions you have fewer pregnancies. That would suggest people get pregnant to have an abortion. It suggests people make that conscious decision. If they were making conscious decisions, they would be more inclined to use birth control," she said.
The study found the average abortion rate for girls ages 15-17 in the four years after Minnesota enacted the law in 1981 was 28 percent lower than the average rate for the three years before the statute went into effect. Birth rates also declined during these periods.
Carlson said the statistics should include the numbers of abortions performed on Minnesota teenagers in surrounding states.
"If you have made it difficult for teenage girls to get legal abortions, maybe forcing them to go out of state, you may not have the high number of abortions," she said.
Goodnight said a 20-year-old woman might go out of state for an abortion, but she doubted teenagers would.