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Abortion rate in US reportedly at lowest since 1973

Catholic World News - February 04, 2014

The abortion rate in the United States is now at its lowest since 1973, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute. The institute, named for a former president of Planned Parenthood, seeks “to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights,” according to its website.

The report stated that “the U.S. abortion rate declined to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2011, well below the 1981 peak of 29.3 per 1,000 and the lowest since 1973 (16.3 per 1,000) … While the overall abortion rate continued to decline, the proportion of abortions that were early medication procedures continued to increase. An estimated 239,400 early medication abortions were performed in 2011, representing 23% of all nonhospital abortions, an increase from 17% in 2008.”

“21% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion,” according to the institute. “One in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.”

“The number of U.S. abortion providers declined 4% between 2008 (1,793) and 2011 (1,720),” the institute added. “The number of clinics providing abortion services declined 1%, from 851 to 839. 89% of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion clinic in 2011; 38% of women live in those counties.”

The president of Americans United for Life “said Guttmacher's numbers should be viewed skeptically because they are based on voluntary self-reporting by abortion providers,” the Associated Press reported.

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