New report indicates US abortion rate has fallen 24% since 2009
The abortion rate for 2018 was reported at 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, down from 14.9 abortions per 1,000 women in 2009.
The data gathered from 47 states, the District of Columbia and New York City reported 619,591 abortions in 2018. Those in their twenties make up more than half of the numbers at 57.7%.
While the total number of abortions and the abortion rate increased by 1% from 2017, since 2016 the abortion rate has dropped 2.5%
For every 1,000 live births in 2018, 189 abortions occurred.
77.7% of abortions were performed around 9 weeks’ gestation, and 92.2% by approximately 13 weeks’ gestation.
The report includes data from both surgical and chemical (medical) abortions.
Dr. Michael New, a professor of social research and political science at the Catholic University of America, told LifeSiteNews that he is pleased to see a “greater than 50% reduction in the U.S. abortion rate since 1980.”
New said that a key factor behind this decrease was a higher percentage of unintended pregnancies being carried to term.
“According to data from the Guttmacher Institute, in 1981, approximately 54% of unintended pregnancies were aborted. That number fell to 42% by 2011 (the most recent year for which we have data). If more women are choosing life, that means pro-life education, service, and legislative efforts have all been effective,” New said.
“More pro-life laws are being passed and there is a body of research which shows that pro-life laws, including public funding limits, parental involvement laws, and properly designed informed consent laws all lower abortion rates,” he continued.
New stated that other factors are at work too, because even states that have not enacted pro-life legislation are seeing abortion numbers fall.
“There has been a change in public opinion. In 1995, a Gallup poll found that only 33% of Americans identified as pro-life. The most recent Gallup survey finds that percentage has reached 46%, and has been higher in other surveys,” he said.
New also pointed to the positive difference that an increase of organizations helping women with unplanned pregnancies has made.
Referencing Heartbeat International’s Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help, New said that “between 1988 and 2015, the number of organizations dedicated to assisting pregnant women increased by 86%.”
Contrary to the common conceptions that comprehensive sex education and contraception lead to less unintended pregnancies, and therefore fewer abortions, New referred back to the data which, he said, told a different story.
“The problem with arguments crediting sex education is that while there has been a consistent decline in the abortion rate since 1980, the unintended pregnancy rate has fluctuated,” New said.
“If sex education or contraception programs were driving reductions in abortion rates, one would expect to see a consistent decline in the unintended pregnancy rate,” he continued.
“Guttmacher’s recent data shows the unintended pregnancy rate was actually increasing between 2001 and 2008 – an era when the U.S. abortion rate was decreasing.”