Abortion Rates Show Steep Decline In U.S. And That’s Good News With Trump As President
Abortions in the U.S. have hit a milestone, and fortunately, it’s a positive one. The number and rate of abortions have dropped to their lowest level in decades, according to tallies by federal authorities. The new data was released Wednesday, reports The Associated Press.
Abortion rates have dropped sharply in the U.S.
Before this, the lowest rate recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occurred in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in all 50 states. Previously, this procedure was illegal in some states.
Statistics compiled by the CDC from the 47 states that report abortions show 664,435 were performed in 2013. This number is down five percent from 2012 and down by 20 percent from 2004. California, Maryland and New Hampshire don’t report abortion data to the CDC.This means the total is considerably less than the current estimate of more than 900,000 abortions reported each year in all of the states.
In 1990, when California was still supplying data to the CDC, the abortion rate peaked at more than 1.4 million.
And the CDC’s findings are right in line with a state-by-state survey conducted last year by The Associated Press. The survey used comprehensive data from 2014, and it showed that abortions had declined in every state during this time period. Interestingly, despite what you might think, there were actually large declines in conservative states passing restrictive abortion laws. And as you might expect, there were also big declines in liberal states that uphold abortion rights.
The CDC report suggests a number of factors behind the drop in abortions. These factors include a steep drop in adolescent pregnancies, health care plans offering more extensive coverage of contraception costs, and increased use of long-lasting and effective contraceptives such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, The Associated Press reports.
Here are some of the CDC’s findings:
- Women in their 20s had the highest abortion rates and accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions. Young women and girls ages 19 and younger accounted for 11.7 percent of abortions.
- The majority of abortions — two-thirds — were performed within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, while almost 92 percent were performed by 13 weeks. Only 1.3 percent were performed after 20 weeks, and this is causing controversy because many anti-abortion activists want a federal abortion ban implemented at this point. President-elect Donald Trump has said he will support this ban if legislation reaches his desk.
- Abortion rates vary widely from state to state. In Mississippi, there are about 3.6 per 1,000 women between the ages of 15-44, while in New York the rate is about 24.3 per every 1,000 women. It’s worth noting that Mississippi is part of a handful of states where there’s only one functioning abortion clinic.
- Medical abortions, in which the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol are used, account for about 22 percent of abortions; surgical procedures accounted for almost all others.
- The CDC also notes that around 15 percent of women who underwent abortions were married. And about 60 percent had given birth to at least one child.
Trump has had to walk back some statements he’s made regarding abortion; especially after he suggested women should be punished for having an abortion, Time.com reports. In an interview, he claimed he meant women “punish themselves.” He tried to clarify that there should be “some form” of punishment for women who seek abortions if the practice is banned.
“I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison. I’m saying women punish themselves. I didn’t want people to think in terms of ‘prison’ punishment. And because of that I walked it back,” Trump told The New York Times.
And as On The Issues notes, Trump has been all over the political map on abortion. Which means I’m glad that the number of abortions in the U.S. has dropped. Women need only to look to themselves to make decisions about their own bodies. We certainly don’t need Trump doing that for us. At all.
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