Guttmacher Institute Says U.S. Abortions Are at Lowest Level Since 1973, But Pro-lifers Say Report is ‘Incomplete’

(Photo: Reuters/Jim Bourg)

As a new report from a leading pro-abortion research organization released this week indicates that the abortion rate in the United States is at its lowest level since abortion was made a national right in 1973, pro-lifers warn that the report does not tell the whole story. 

The new report from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute this week found that the abortion rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2017, which the organization says is the “lowest rate recorded since abortion was legalized in 1973” through the high court ruling in Roe v. Wade. 

The report is based on data provided by the Guttmacher Institute abortion provider census.

The report also states that the total number of abortions per year has fallen by 19 percent from 2011 to 2017, with 862,000 abortions being performed in 2017 compared to the 1,058,000 abortions in 2011.

Additionally, the report shows that the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies that end in either abortion or live birth fell by 13 percent, from 21.2 to 18.4.

Although laws passed by several states govern how late into the pregnancy an abortion may legally be performed, the report concludes that the decline in births and pregnancies overall is playing more of a role in the abortion rate decline than such state laws.

Guttmacher Institute tallied 32 states enacting 394 policy restrictions on abortion from 2011 to 2017, the majority of which are in effect.

However, the report stressed that “nearly every state had a lower abortion rate in 2017 than in 2011, regardless of whether it had restricted abortion access.”

“There are a number of potential explanations for this broad decline, some more plausible than others,” the report contends. “Still, abortion restrictions, particularly those imposing unnecessary, intentionally burdensome regulations on providers, played a role in shutting down abortion clinics in some states and thereby reducing access to abortion.”

The Guttmacher report suggests that one factor for the decline in pregnancies could be “contraceptive access and use.” It notes that since 2011 contraception has become more accessible and most private health insurance plans are now required by Obamacare to cover contraception.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith