an After abortion

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Wednesday, March 8, 2006

The New England Journal of Medicine article we wrote about earlier today is now online: Changes in Abortions and Births and the Texas Parental Notification Law.

The article is getting major play in the mainstream media. For example, it's on ABC and in
Newsday which summarizes the findings of the article this way:

Abortion rates declined significantly among Texas girls -- though some got riskier abortions later in pregnancy -- after the state enacted a parental notification law, researchers say.

In the study, birth rates declined for all ages in the 15- to 18-year-old group. At the same time, the abortion rate among 18-year-olds fell from 27.7 abortions per 1,000 girls before the law to 25.8 afterward. The rate dropped from 18.7 to 14.5 among 17-year-olds; 12.1 to 9.0 among 16-year-olds; and 6.5 to 5.4 among 15-year-olds.

In the study, girls 17 1/2 or slightly older were one-third more likely to have an abortion in the second trimester than girls already 18 when they became pregnant, indicating many waited until they turned 18 to escape the notification requirement.

Abortion later in pregnancy carries a much higher rate of deadly complications, though the overall risk is still extremely small.
I wonder what information the abortion clinics are giving out about "the much higher rate of deadly complications" that might happen with these later-term abortions. Or...could it be that because the risk is "extremely small", that the abortion clinics don't provide a comprehensive picture of the risks? Has anyone researched what kind of information the clinics are giving out about this? I wonder if it has happened anywhere that a 17 3/4 year old girl calls a clinic and is told to wait until she turns 18.

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