Determinants of AFDC Caseload Growth. g. Restrictions on Abortions


In addition to restricting Medicaid payments for abortions, many states have enacted laws regulating minors' access to abortion services. Twenty-four states enforced parental consent and/or parental notification laws for at least part of the period from 1980 through 1994. For this analysis, we treat parental consent and parental notification laws collectively as parental involvement laws based on the assumption that both types of laws have very similar impacts on fertility rates. Using data compiled in Merz, et al (1995), we have a constructed dummy variables denoting the enforcement periods of such laws.

As with the effects of Medicaid funding for abortions on the overall fertility rate, the effect of parental consent or notification laws on fertility among minors is uncertain. Haas-Wilson (1996) finds that the enforcement of such laws decreases the number of abortions per live births among minors. However, such laws may also decrease the fertility rate among minors by restricting minors' options and, thus, increasing the costs associated with becoming pregnant.