International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Effect of Religious Membership and Parental Involvement Laws on Adult and Teen Abortion Rates
Annette Tomal, Seth Norton

County-level abortion rates were regressed against parental involvement laws, religious membership levels, and several demographic and socioeconomic variables. The sample size was all 781 counties in the 12 states that provide abortion data for five age groups from 15-34. Parental involvement laws were significantly related to lower abortion rates for all age groups. Religious membership levels were used for the three major categories of religious adherence in the U.S. – Catholic/Orthodox, Mainline Protestant, and Non-Mainline Protestant. Religious affiliation with Catholic/Orthodox was positively related to abortion rates for all age groups, as was Non-Mainline Protestant affiliation for ages 25-34. Mainline Protestant was minimally related to higher abortion rates for two of five age groups. Lower abortion rates were related to married-couple families (for all but minor teens), increased White population, and prevalence of families in poverty for ages 15-24. Higher abortion rates were related to population density and college-educated population.

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