circular reasoning.gifGot a note from Dr. Michael New this morning:

A couple weeks ago something exciting happened. The Alan Guttmacher Institute attacked my recent Family Research Council study which demonstrated the effectiveness of pro-life parental involvement laws. This means I am making all the right enemies.
Their criticisms were not exactly persuasive. In fact, they even cite a 2006 New England Journal of Medicine study which very strongly supports my position.

Read New’s full response here.
My first thought: If Guttmacher and the abortion industry don’t think parental notification laws work, why fight them?
Guttmacher admitted teen abortions were down but explained…

[T]here is strong evidence that the decline in minors’ abortion rates is largely the result of fewer teen pregnancies, which, in turn, reflect better contraceptive use among adolescents.

Of course Guttmacher would say that. It’s the research arm of Planned Parenthood, which makes much, if not most, of its $1 billion annual income from contraceptive sales.
But Guttmacher reported in 2006:

The proportion of U.S. teens who had received any formal instruction about birth control methods declined sharply between 1995 and 2002, while the proportion who had received only information about abstinence more than doubled to more than one in five….

Drops in teen abortion rates are due in large part to common sense: encouraging abstinence and forcing the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.
On that point, Guttmacher made New’s point in its report, referring to the aforementioned NEJM study, which…

… found that in the period immediately following implementation of a TX parental notification law, the abortion rate among teens aged 15-17 within the state fell more sharply than it did among 18-year-olds, who were not subject to the law.
The authors concluded that the law was associated with reduced abortion rates among minors and an increase in the birth rate among older minors.
However, given the design of this study, causality cannot be proven. If the law has had this effect, it likely reflects the fact that all states bordering TX, with the exception of NM, also have a mandatory parental involvement law, which makes it extremely difficult for TX minors to seek an abortion elsewhere.

Guttmacher was trying to say TX’s parental involvement law didn’t account for the drop in TX abortions. Rather, parental involvement laws in states surrounding TX did.

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