Purpose To describe the impact of the Illinois Parental Notification of Abortion Act on minors presenting for first-trimester abortion at an urban clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Methods Descriptive, retrospective review looked at minors obtaining a first-trimester abortion at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital Reproductive Health Services during the 12 months prior (August 15, 2012-August 14, 2013) and after (August 15, 2013-August 14, 2014) the Illinois Parental Notification Act was in effect. Young women, ages 18-21 years, unaffected by the law, served as the control group. Results Before the law, 320 minors of a total of 5,505 patients (5.8%) obtained a first-trimester abortion and after the law went into effect, 311 minors of a total of 6,311 patients (4.9%) obtained an abortion. This constituted a 2.8% decrease in procedures among minors before and after the law went into effect (p =.003). However, this decrease was not significant when compared to an 8.8% growth in procedures among the control group, ages 18-21 years (p =.079). Among minors, there was no difference in race/ethnicity, age, and mean gestational age at the time of abortion before and after the law (p =.189, p =.116, and p =.961). There was a trend toward a larger decline in the youngest minors, aged 12-15 years and in those with at least one prior abortion. Conclusions The impact of a parental notification law on minors at an urban, public clinic is unclear. The 3% decrease warrants further study of both teen pregnancy rates and legislative barriers to minors' abortion access.
- Abortion access
- Minors' reproductive health policy
- Parental involvement laws
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health