Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pro-Life Parental Involvement Laws Save Life of Mother as well as Child

Turns out up to 1/5th of female teenage suicides can be prevented by parental involvement laws. Pro-life advocates have not only protected the life of the child with these laws but the life of the young mother as well. Such pro-life laws also reduce the teen pregnancy rate (up to 9%) and spread of STDs (up to 20%). Oh, and no evidence that they cause an increase in child abuse. Michael J. New explains:
"This spring the journal Economic Inquiry published a study by Joseph Sabia and Daniel Reese which found very solid evidence that pro-life parental involvement laws reduce the suicide rate for teen females. This peer-reviewed study is both methodologically rigorous and well done. Analyzing state-level suicide data from 1987 to 2003 and holding constant both state-level trends and a range of economic and demographic factors, it finds that parental involvement laws reduce the suicide rate for teen females anywhere from 11 to 21 percent. The authors argue that this is because parental involvement laws reduce the incidence of stressful life events. These include unprotected sexual intercourse, STDs, pregnancies, and abortions.
"The authors utilize an impressive range of statistical tests to document their findings. For instance, the regression results indicate that parental involvement laws have only a marginal impact on the suicide rate of older females who would not be directly affected by the law. Also, parental involvement laws have little impact on the suicide rate for teen males. However, this is consistent with the hypothesis that unprotected sex imposes a greater psychological burden on female adolescents than on their male counterparts. Finally, parental involvement laws have less of an effect on teen female suicide rates — if adjacent states are not enforcing parental involvement laws."
. . .
"Additionally, a 2003 study in the Journal of Health Economics by Phillip Levine found that parental-involvement laws reduce the pregnancy rate of 15- to 17-year-olds by 4 to 9 percent. A 2008 study in the Journal of Law Economics and Organization by Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann shows that parental involvement laws reduce gonorrhea rates anywhere from 12 to 20 percent for females under 20. Pro-choice opponents of parental-involvement laws frequently argue that they will lead to a higher incidence of child abuse. However, there is no comparable body of peer-reviewed evidence demonstrating the negative public-health impact of these laws."
[emphasis added]


cathy said...

This is great information! Thank you!

T. D. said...

Like you, I was glad to get the information too. Good policy has good results. Thanks for your comment.