Pro-life laws are part of the reason abortion rates have declined over the past two decades, a study says.
A review of abortion data from 1985 through 2005 provides “solid evidence” that laws restricting but not outlawing abortion “have an impact on the childbearing decisions of women,” Michael J. New wrote in State Politics and Policy Quarterly, a peer-reviewed publication aimed at state policymakers.
He found that all three approaches had significant results in certain populations. For instance, parental-notification laws were correlated with a 15 percent decline in in-state abortion rates for minors. Informed-consent laws, which require pregnant women to receive information about such things as their health, fetal development or resources for parenting, were associated with reductions in in-state abortions by 5 percent to 7 percent.
Legal limits on Medicaid funding for abortion also had a significant impact, reducing abortion incidence by about 9 percent in states with such laws.