America’s abortion rate fell to the lowest level in decades, new data reveal.
The latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years.
That’s half the rate recorded in 1980.
The last time the CDC recorded a lower rate was 1971, two years before a Supreme Court ruling extending abortion rights nationwide.
In total, across 47 states tallied by the CDC, there were 664,435 abortions in 2013 – down 20 percent from 2004.
Drop in abortions: In total, across 47 states tallied by the CDC, there were 664,435 abortions in 2013 – down 20 percent from 2004 and half the rate reported in 1980
The only states that do not share abortion data with the CDC are California, Maryland and New Hampshire.
Officials estimate the national total could be around 900,000 abortions or more annually.
The drop in abortions coincides with a drop in teen pregnancy, revealed in a report last month.
And according to a new study, rising rates of contraception – used correctly – are the driving force behind the shift.
Between 2007 and 2012, the number of new mothers aged 15 to 19 years old dropped 5.6 per cent.
In that same period, sexual activity among teenagers increased.
At the same time, there was a notable climb in use of ‘effective’ contraception methods, like the IUD coil, the Pill and the injection, rather than condoms.
In 2007, 78 per cent of sexually active teen girls used at least one type of birth control.
Just five years later, that figure had gone up to 86 per cent.
According to the authors of the new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, that is ‘all’ down to increased contraception use.
‘Adolescents’ uptake of any method, regardless of its failure rate, markedly reduces this risk,’ write the authors Laura Lindberg, John Santelli, and Sheila Desai from Columbia University.
They reflect on previous research that showed a similar drop in teen pregnancy rates between 1991 and 2007.
A number of reports had attributed this drop to declining sexual activity.
However, the authors write, the latest data unequivocally shows contraception is the root cause of today’s lower figures.
‘Here, the NSFG [National Survey of Family Growth] shows no decline in adolescent sexual activity from 2007 to 2012 (and a nonsignificant increase from 2007 to 2009),’ they write.
‘It suggests that this behavioral factor did not play a role in the recent PRI declines.’
Recent data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance also shows sexual activity did declined among high school students between 2013 and 2015.