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The Impact of Mandatory Waiting Periods and Parental Consent Laws on the Timing of Abortion and State of Occurrence among Adolescents in Mississippi and South Carolina

By Ted Joyce and Robert Kaestner

Abstract

Individual data on induced abortions from Mississippi and South Carolina are used to examine the effect of parental consent laws and mandatory delay statutes on two outcomes among teens: the point in pregnancy at which the abortion occurs and whether teens obtain abortions in or outside their state of residence. No effect of either law was found on the timing and location of abortion among minors relative to older teens in South Carolina. In Mississippi, however, both laws are associated with an increase in the proportion of abortions performed out of the state and the parental consent statute with later abortions. The conclusion is that Mississippi's 24-hour as compared with South Carolina's one-hour delay requirement, and Mississippi's two-parent as contrasted with South Carolina's one-parent consent statute explain the stronger behavioral response in Mississippi. © 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Management and Ananlysis.

DOI identifier: 10.1002/pam.2025
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