From 1981 through 2017, the abortion rate fell approximately in half
The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.
The report by the Guttmacher Institute
, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe
decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.
The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 — the most recent year with data available — the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards
said efforts to help women get better access to contraception are paying off. She points in particular to recent improvements in the rate of unintended pregnancies
, and a historically low teen pregnancy
"It shows that we're finally doing a better job of helping women get access to birth control that's affordable and that's high-quality," Richards said.
A report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that backs legalized abortion, puts the 2014 rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age — the lowest recorded rate since 1973.