Abortion rate in the U.S. hits an all-time low, CDC reports

According to the Centers for Disease Control, abortion rates in the United States have dropped to a record low.

On Friday, the CDC released new numbers showing a 35% decline in US abortions between 1990 and 2010, to 17.7 abortions per 1,000 women between ages 15 and 44. This is the lowest America’s abortion rate has been since CDC abortion tracking began in 1976, three years after the Supreme Court legalized elective abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade.

CDC statistician Sally Curtin noted that abortions have “been on a nearly steady decline since the rate peaked in 1980.” The agency’s latest report, which was co-authored by researcher Kathryn Kost with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, attributes the decline to a variety of factors, including a corresponding all-time low in the pregnancy rate.


Kost cites increased birth-control use as a major factor, but Live Action News has found in previous looks at the research that contraception is a relatively small factor in abortion rates, with reduced teen sexual activity having a greater impact. Pro-life researcher Michael New also notes that more pregnant women are choosing to give birth, thanks in part to hundreds of pro-life laws enacted over the past several years.

Further complicating the picture is that five states, including the most populous and one of the most abortion-friendly, California, do not report any abortion data to the CDC. However, while the nation’s true abortion rate is undoubtedly higher, this limitation applies to both current and past CDC reports, so the observed decline still occurred.

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