Nearly half of the young girls surveyed in Wisconsin said they would quit going to Planned Parenthood if their parents had to be told they wanted prescribed contraceptives, according to a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association
("Effect of Mandatory Parental Notification of Adolescent Girls' Use of Sexual Health Care Services," 2002;288;(6):710-714). The study suggested that parental notification could lead to more teen pregnancies, abortions and the spread of STDs. Congress and ten states, including Wisconsin, have considered legislation requiring that parents be informed if their children are seeking prescribed contraceptives, the study noted.
"If a teen thinks that their access to medical services is compromised in one area, they are making the assumption it could apply to other areas as well," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin spokesperson Lisa Boyce said. The study was funded by grants from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Inc.
Researchers surveyed 950 girls ages 12 to 17 at 33 Planned Parenthood clinics around Wisconsin in 1999. The girls were asked to complete a confidential survey as they waited for appointments. If mandatory parental notification were required for prescribed contraceptives:
- 47 percent said they would stop using all Planned Parenthood services.
- 12 percent said they would change their use of Planned Parenthood services.
- 65 girls said they would delay testing or treatment for HIV or other STDs.
- 47 girls said they would discontinue using specific health care services.
- 36 girls said they would discontinue pregnancy testing.
- 99 percent of the girls said they would remain sexually active and either have unprotected sex or use condoms sporadically if they could not get prescribed contraceptives.
Back to other CDC news for August 14, 2002