Monday, April 15, 2024

New Report on "Minor Abortion Access Research and Advocacy Project"

A valuable new report, published by J. Shoshanna Ehrlich and the ASPIRE Center at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, documents the status of minor abortion access in the United States. The report, titled "Minor Abortion Access Research and Advocacy Project" is available online. There is a useful visual map depicting the status of the law and a useful grading system on pages 11-12 of the study. Its conclusion are excerpted below: 

As documented in this report, parental involvement laws discriminate against teens seeking to terminate a pregnancy when compared to those seeking to carry a pregnancy to term or obtain other kinds of reproductive and sexual health care. The only logical explanation for this discriminatory treatment is abortion exceptionalism, which as we have seen, is the hyper-regulation of abortion due to its disfavored and stigmatized status. A strong argument can be made in abortion-protective states which also have a parental involvement law that the time has come to afford teens equal access to abortion care, rather than leaving them by the wayside when it comes to the protection of abortion rights.

Of course, we recognize that launching this kind of major law reform effort is not currently feasible in abortion-restrictive states. Accordingly, we offer you a brief case study of the successful repeal campaign in Illinois, which took more than a decade of engaged public education about the harms of parental involvement laws. As was the case in Illinois, youth voices can be effectively harnessed to help make this case. As evidenced by the work of both Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood Generation Action, “Young people understand that reproductive and sexual health and rights are inextricably tied to social justice and the fight for liberation.”

The passage of abortion protective measures in the wake of Dobbs shows that lawmakers in many states are intent on strengthening their states’ abortion laws to expand and safeguard access within their borders, including for those coming from abortion-ban states. But teens have not been offered the same level of protection – or agency to make to make their own reproductive health decisions – as adults. We hope advocates will leverage the research and findings of this report to identify opportunities in their home state to enact change so that teens have equitable access to abortion. We further hope that advocates can leverage the research and findings to counter any age-specific restrictive measures introduced in their home state aimed at further restricting abortion access for teens.

Abortion, Healthcare | Permalink


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