Pat your vagina on the back, ladies; a new report released today shows that the US birth rate is continuing to go down faster than a sorority girl in a tired sexist joke. But a reduction in birth rate isn't due to Operation Rescue nightmare-style use of abortion as birth control; rather, diligent use of contraception has reduced the overall pregnancy rate, especially among women in their teens and twenties. It sure would have been helpful if Rick Santorum had clarified that when he said birth control gave women "license to do things," he meant "license to be pregnant when they want to be."
American women just aren't getting knocked up like they used to. According to the report released by the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics today, the most recent year that data was available (2008), fewer women than ever found themselves With Child. In fact, pregnancy rates were down across the most fecund age groups.
We knew that teen pregnancy had dropped off in recent years; in 2010, the CDC reported the lowest rate of inseminated youths in recorded history. And we knew that women in their twenties were putting off childbearing in favor filling their most fertile years with other, less baby poop-intensive activities. But what's new about this report is the juxtaposition of abortion rates with the new, lower pregnancy rates. Since both are falling, we can conclude that either women who aren't ready to have children are having dramatically less sex or they're doing a better job of staying unpregnant in the first place. But since instance of abortion has fallen more sharply than the overall birth rate, it seems that women who get pregnant are tending to wait until they want to have a child. Hm, I wonder how that's happening?