U.S. Abortions Drop 25 Percent Since 1990
Special Report - January 22, 2008
The number of abortions in the United States declined 25 percent between 1990 and 2005, and the abortion rate dropped to its lowest level since 1974, according to the latest census of abortion providers conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). Released January 17, the AGI report, “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005,” includes the results from an AGI survey of all known abortion providers in the nation.
According to the report, 1.2 million abortions were performed in 2005, down from the all-time high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of abortions dropped eight percent, from 1.31 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2005. The abortion rate (total number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44) declined nine percent between 2000 and 2005, from 21.3 in 2000 to 19.4 in 2005, reaching its lowest level since 1974, after peaking in 1981 at 29.3. In North Carolina, the abortion rate declined 11 percent between 2000 and 2005 (from 21.0 to 18.8).
The number of abortion providers in the U.S. declined slightly (by 2 percent) between 2000 and 2005 after dropping 38 percent (from 2900 providers to 1800) between 1982 and 2000, according to the AGI. The report shows that North Carolina had a total of 37 abortion providers in 2005, down 33 percent from 55 abortion providers in 2000.
While abortion in general declined, the use of medical drugs to perform abortions increased in the U.S. between 2000 and 2005. The AGI reports that an estimated 57 percent of abortion providers offered medical abortion services (such as the drug RU-486) in 2005, compared to 33 percent in 2001. Thirteen percent (or 161,000) of all abortions in 2005 were medical abortions.
“As our nation marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade this month, the continuing decline in abortions is certainly good news that can be attributed to the increase in pro-life laws, advances in ultrasound technology, and the hard work of pregnancy resource centers across this country,” said North Carolina Family Policy Council president, Bill Brooks. “However, about one in five pregnancies still end in abortion in the U.S., and that is unacceptable. We in the pro-life community still have a lot of work to do, especially here in North Carolina where no new pro-life legislation has been allowed to come up for a vote in our General Assembly in over a decade.”
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