Abortion Rates at All Time Low

Abortion RatesAbortion rates are at an all time low since the procedure first became legal by the U.S. Supreme Courts over Roe v. Wade in 1973. USA Today reports that according to a recent data analyst report, abortions rates in terms of the amount of abortions that took place during the years of 2008 and 2011 are at 13 percent drop from previous years records. The authors of this report believe this decline is probably due to the recession and recent long-lasting contraceptives which decrease the chance of pregnancy and are currently made more available nation wide.

This past Monday, January 27, an issue was reported by Guttmacher Institute located in New York which found the 2011 rates to be on a decline of 16.9 abortions for every 1,000 women in between the ages of 15 and 44. This decline comes in second to the 1973 abortion rates which were at a 16.3 for every 1,000 women. The report shows the declines to be present in all states except for the following six: Alaska, Wyoming, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Wyoming. These states either had no change in the rate of decline or reported an increase concerning abortion rates. Rachel Jones, one of the authors and senior researcher of this study, told press associates that it is unusual to see such a significant decrease over a three-year period.

The Guttmacher Institute is an organization that is in support of the right for legal abortions, as well as expanding awareness and access to sexual information and contraceptives. Although the report did not study reasons behind the numbers, Jones believes that abortion rates are at an all time low due to the fact that women have access to more effective forms of contraceptives and specifically mentions the use of such methods as IUD. Jones also contributes the decline in rates to the fact that the period of time in which these reports were taken were during a recession and economic recovery period. Some evidence within the study that attributes to this fact is due to birthrates fell to a nine percent between the year 2008 and 2011.

Although this analysis did not include reasons for declines, it did take into account state restrictions. According to the report, the U.S. enacted 205 restrictions concerning abortions over the years of 2011 through 2013, which USA Today reports is more than have been initiated in any other decade. For the analysis study period of 2008 and 2011 there were a hundred and six restrictions enacted, therefore the surge in abortion restrictions is not accounted for within this study. This is due to the fact that many restrictions placed over abortions did not go into affect until late 2011. However, Jones states that in the study they did not find an correlation between abortion restrictions and the decline within abortion rates.

According to Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life group, told The Washington Post that they are happy to see the number of abortions taking place has dropped. The National Right to Life group is an anti-abortion group and such groups have rejected such studies as the Guttmacher and relate a decrease in abortion rates to an increase in state regulation and specific legal restrictions placed over abortions. Whether or not the decline of abortion rates is due to state regulation or a period of advance contraceptives is unknown, but a fact that remains the same is this study shows that abortion rates as a nation are at an all time low.

By Sarah Widger

USA Today
The Washington Post

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