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The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2011 there were 730,322 abortions in the 47 states in which it has data. The official announcement marks a dramatic plunge in the number of abortions nationwide, reaching historic lows according to the report.

The number of abortions fell five percent since the previous year, and 13 percent since 2002.

“Large decreases in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions from 2010 to 2011, in combination with decreases that occurred during 2008–2010, resulted in historic lows for all three measures of abortion,” according to the most recent annual “Abortion Surveillance” released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report – which the CDC released Friday, the day after Thanksgiving – is incomplete, since it does not include statistics from states that fail to report abortion statistics. That includes the nation's most populous state, California, as well as Maryland and New Hampshire.

The sustained, five-year decrease in the number of abortions coincides with states passing the largest number of pro-life laws since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. More pro-life laws have been passed in the last three years than in the previous decade combined. States passed 205 pro-life laws from 2011 to 2013, as compared to 189 between 2001 and 2010. The largest number of laws protecting the unborn, 82, became law in 2011.

The top legislative goal of pro-life groups is a national ban on all abortions after 20 weeks. The CDC reports that late-term abortions, at 21 weeks or later, made up 1.4 percent of all abortions, or 7,325 abortions in 2011.

The CDC reports that abortion rates fell for every demographic except women over 40, which “have shown a small yet persistent increase, and the abortion ratio for this age group remains high.”

The overall teenage abortion rate dropped by more than a third since 2002, with teens representing 13.9 percent of abortions in 2011. Girls 13-14 accounted for less than one-half of one percent of all abortions (0.4 percent).

Women in their 20s continued to constitute the majority of women who had an abortion.

A whopping majority of abortions – 85.5 percent – were performed upon unmarried women in 2011, the CDC reported.

Just under half of all women (46.4 percent) had one or more previous abortion. Nearly 10 percent, 44,523 women in the areas tracking such data, had three or more prior abortions.

Non-Hispanic black women had the highest abortion rate and ratio, while non-Hispanic white women had the lowest levels.

Although the overall abortion rate fell, the Obama administration's report once again promoted the use of abortifacients to further reduce abortion rates, singling out “intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, which are as effective as sterilization.” All forms of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) have the capacity to act as abortifacients.

The report also praised the controversial HHS mandate as a groundbreaking effort to reduce abortions. “Research has shown that providing contraception for women at no cost increases use of the most effective methods and can reduce abortion rates,” the report says. “Removing cost and increasing access to the most effective contraceptive methods could be an important way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and consequently the number of abortions performed in the United States.”

To support this claim, the CDC again cites a debunked study conducted by Jeff Peipert that appeared in the October 2012 edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

In April, the CDC suggested Medicaid pay for teenage girls to obtain abortifacient LARCs on a “confidential” basis.

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  • The number of abortions has plunged 13 percent since 2002;
  • Abortions after 20 weeks make up 1.4 percent of all abortions (7,325 of 730,322 abortions in 2011);
  • The vast majority of abortions (85.5 percent) are among unmarried women;
  • Women in their 20s make up the largest percentage of women who have abortions;
  • The number of women over 40 who had abortions rose in 2011; and 
  • The Obama administration against cited a debunked study to promote the taxpayer-subsidized distribution of abortifacients.


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