Effects of Parental Notification Requirement for Abortions:

The other day I mentioned Jonathan Klick's paper on the effects of mandatory waiting periods for abortions.

Given the prominence of abortion in the news, I thought readers might be interested in another paper of his, co-authored with Thomas Stratmann, on the effects of parental notification laws before minors can get an abortion on "risky sex." They use an ingenious measurement for "risky sex." Here's the Abstract for "Abortion Access and Risky Sex Among Teens: Parental Involvement Laws and Sexually Transmitted Diseases":

Laws requiring minors to seek parental consent or to notify a parent prior to obtaining an abortion raise the cost of risky sex for teenagers. Assuming choices to engage in risky sex are made rationally, parental involvement laws should lead to less risky sex among teens, either because of a reduction of sexual activity altogether or because teens will be more fastidious in the use of birth control ex ante. Using gonorrhea rates among older women to control for unobserved heterogeneity across states, our results indicate that the enactment of parental involvement laws significantly reduces risky sexual activity among teenage girls. We estimate reductions in gonorrhea rates of 20 percent for Hispanics and 12 percent for whites. While we find a relatively small reduction in rates for black girls, it is not statistically significant. We speculate that the racial heterogeneity has to do with differences in family structure across races.