According to a report published Tuesday by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, there were about 926,200 abortions in in the U.S. in 2014, representing a drop of 12.5% since Guttmacher’s previous survey of 1.06 million abortions in 2011.
The researchers attributed the drop in abortion rates to two factors: increased access to affordable, long-lasting contraceptives that have reduced unintended pregnancies, and the surge of abortion restrictions in many states which have forced clinics to close and hindered many women’s ability to have the procedure.
“While many find ways to access care despite these obstacles, some of the abortion rate decline is likely attributable to women who were prevented from accessing needed services,” said Rachel Jones, lead author of the study.
The report’s state-by-state breakdown found steep declines in abortions in some liberal states, such as California, and also in some conservative states, such as Texas, that have passed laws to restrict abortions. Most women who get abortions have low incomes, and nearly two-thirds are already parents, according to the report.
“It can be very difficult for them to arrange for time off from work, transportation and child care,” Jones said. “Some of the abortion rate decline is likely attributable to women who were prevented from accessing needed services.”
The Guttmacher Institute is the only entity that strives to count all abortion statistics in the U.S.; the latest survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacks data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire.
According to the report, the abortion rate was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in the U.S., the lowest rate since abortion was legalized nationally by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Following that ruling, the number of abortions in the U.S. steadily increased – reaching a peak of 1.6 million in 1990 – before starting to decline.
The incoming administration is expected to have a significant impact on abortion access.
Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as America’s 45th president on Friday, has vowed to appoint only pro-life justices, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence has said that the administration will see Roe vs. Wade “consigned to the ash heap of history.”
Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), is also a staunch opponent of abortion and has consistently received ratings of 100% from the National Right to Life Committee.
Source: CBS News