Abortion Rate the Lowest in Over 40 Years

There’s been much heated debate (but isn’t there always with this topic) about just what affect restrictive state abortion laws and the closing of abortion clinics have had on abortion rates, accordging to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. It notes that the abortion rate is the lowest it has been since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

But the study states that, “The relationship between abortion access, as measured by the number of clinics, and abortion rates is not straightforward. Further research is needed to understand the decline in abortion incidence.”

Latest data are from 2014 and show that the rates of abortion have almost steadily declined since 1981, when the rate was 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44). In 2014, the rate was 14.6 per 1,000 women, or 926,200 abortions. For the last Guttmacher report in 2011, the rate was 16.9 per 1,000 women, or 1.06 million abortions.  

This year’s Guttmacher report says that, “At least some of the decline in abortion across the United States likely is due to declines in unintended pregnancy. Use of LARC [long-acting reversible contraceptive] methods increased 36% among all women using contraceptives between 2009 and 2012, and 48% among clients at Title X–supported family planning facilities.”

Source: Guttmacher Institute