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Report says abortion rate lowest since 1973

A new report from The Guttmacher Institute said that "the abortion rate dropped to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 2011, well below the peak of 29.3 in 1981 and the lowest since a rate of 16.3 in 1973." [] The Guttmacher Institute has been studying abortion rates since the 1970s.

A new study shows abortion rates have declined.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Guttmacher Institute report says, "While the study did not specifically investigate reasons for the decline, the authors note that the study period (2008–2011) predates the major surge in state-level abortion restrictions that started during the 2011 legislative session, and that many provisions did not go into effect until late 2011 or even later. The study also found that the total number of abortion providers declined by only 4% between 2008 and 2011, and the number of clinics (which provide the large majority of abortion services) declined by just 1%."

The study also noted that there was an increase in medical, not surgical abortions. Some 23% of abortions that were not performed in hospitals were nonsurgical. That's an increase of 17% since 2008.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias, said “That abortion rates and numbers continue to decline is heartening because it shows that women are rejecting the idea of abortion as the answer to an unexpected pregnancy,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “This latest report from Guttmacher shows the long-term efforts of the right-to-life movement to educate the country about the humanity of the unborn child and to enact laws that help children and their mothers are having a tremendous impact.”

An estimated 57 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

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