Abortion rate at historic low in the United States

The abortion rate in the US is at its lowest level since before the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision to broaden access to terminations, latest figures reveal.

In its ‘surveillance report’ to the year 2013, the nation’s Centres for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 47 states have experienced a 20% drop in terminations since 2004 (the CDC data is limited to 47 states as the federal government does not require states to report abortions figures). In all figures recorded for 2013 show that 664,435 abortions took place, equating to 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.

Observers point out that the last time a lower rate of abortions was recorded was in 1971, when some states, but not all, had legislated for abortion.

According to the latest CDC report, women in their 20s accounted for the majority of terminations, with 92% of terminations occurring by 13 weeks of gestation. 

Some 15% of women seeking an abortion were married, and 60% had previously given birth to at least one child. State by state rates of termination vary widely, with Mississippi returning a 3.6 per 1,000 rate against New York’s 24.3 rate.

A combination of a growing number of pro-life laws on a state by state basis together with advances in technology  are being credited with driving down the abortion rate.