Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 103–116 | Cite as

The Effect of Religious Membership on Teen Abortion Rates

  • Annette Tomal


Religious membership can be related to teen abortion rates both directly, through antiabortion sentiment, and indirectly, through the higher probability of parental involvement laws being enacted in states with high levels of religious membership. Using data from the 1,024 counties in the 18 states that report teen abortion numbers, counties with high levels of religious membership were more likely to be in a state with a parental involvement law. In weighted regressions with several control variables—restrictive public funding, unemployment rate, per capita income, population density, percent white population, percent of families headed by a married couple, and regional indicators—both the religious membership level and a parental involvement law were negatively related to teen abortion rates. The coefficients for both variables were smaller when both variables were included in the model, indicating an interaction effect between religious membership and parental involvement laws on teen abortion rates.


Interaction Effect Population Density Control Variable High Probability Unemployment Rate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Tomal
    • 1
  1. 1.Wheaton College

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