The U.S. Abortion Rate Reached Its Lowest Since Before Roe v. Wade

Image via AP.
Image via AP.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the U.S. abortion rate fell to its lowest level in post-Roe v. Wade history in 2013, the most recent year that data is available.

According to the report, which examined data from 47 states, the abortion rate that year was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women between 14 and 44 years old—down 5 percent from 2012 and 20 percent from 2004. California, Maryland and New Hampshire did not submit data and were thus not included in the metrics.

In total, the agency counted 664,435 abortions, though the number would of course been higher had the other states, particularly California, supplied their data. Still, a study from the Guttmacher Institute shows that California’s abortion rates have plunged along with the national average, dropping precipitously in the last decade. The CDC report also points out that abortions performed in California, Maryland, and New Hampshire accounted for 21 percent of all abortions.

Image via the Guttmacher Institute
Image via the Guttmacher Institute

The decline is thanks to fewer adolescent pregnancies, increased insurance coverage of contraception and increased use of effective, long-term contraceptive methods, especially IUDs. On the grim side, the numbers also declined in conservative states with draconian abortion laws—because why curb abortions through education and contraceptive access when fascist repression works just as well?

The study yields several takeaways, some more surprising than others. Women in their 20s accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions. Two-thirds of abortions were performed within the first eight weeks of gestation. About 15 percent of the women who sought an abortion were married, and about 60 percent had previously given birth to at least one child.

President-elect Donald “Maggot Pie” Trump has promised to do his best to overturn Roe v. Wade just as soon as he stops tweeting long enough to get around to it. Relatedly, here is Jezebel’s running list of abortion rights by state.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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This is objectively good. I don’t understand why people who are so against abortion because it is ‘child murder’ don’t get that the best way to stop abortions isn’t to make them illegal (have you people HEARD of Prohibition???) but rather to increase sex ed/access to condoms/etc. etc.