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January 17, 2008
Abortion Rate lowest since 1974
A new, massive study of abortions in the United States has found that there are "ever-fewer pregnant women choosing abortion and those who do increasingly opting to avoid surgical clinics."
The number of abortions has plunged to 1.2 million a year, down 25 percent since hitting a peak in 1990, according to a report being released today — days before the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. Not only are there fewer abortions, but the method of aborting a fetus has altered as well. The study showed that 13% of abortions are the result of pharmaceuticals where pills are taken to deliberately induce a miscarriage. There has also been the introduction of the so-called "morning after pill" which is another reason for the drop in surgical procedures.
The abortion rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1974, the first full year after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide. The annual rate has been falling steadily since 1981, paralleling a sharp decline in the number of abortion providers. In the early 1980s, nearly one in three pregnant women chose abortion. The most recent data show that proportion is closer to one in five.
"That's a significant drop, and it's encouraging," said Randall O'Bannon, director of education and research for the anti-abortion group National Right to Life.
The study itself doesn't cite any reasons for the drop in abortions but pro-choice groups also point to the reduced access to get abortions because of the closing of clinics. Also, they say that many women do not want to face the protestors who gather at these clinics.
Regardless if you are pro-life or pro-choice, the news of fewer abortions can be greeted with enthusiasm.