Abortion rates hit historic lows, according to new report

  • Once again, statistics suggest that abortion rates drop as access to contraception improves.
  • New data from the Guttmacher Institute show abortion rates are at their lowest point since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision, NPR reported Tuesday. 
  • The report shows that in 2014, 14.6 abortions were performed for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. 
  • That’s down from when abortion became legal in 1973, when the rate was 16.3 abortions for every 1,000 women.
  • Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards chalked up the dip to readily available contraception.
  • “It shows that we’re finally doing a better job of helping women get access to birth control that’s affordable and that’s high-quality,” Richards told NPR. Read more

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That’s the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades – down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 – the most recent year with data available – the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said efforts to help women get better access to contraception are paying off. She points in particular to recent improvements in the rate of unintended pregnancies, and a historically low teen pregnancy rate.

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

Graphic: Katie Park/NPR

Thanks to IUDs, unintended pregnancies are falling for the first time in decades

Unintended pregnancy rates are went down 18% from 2008 to 2011, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. That means rates are now at a 30-year low, according to a press release from the Guttmacher Institute, which conducted the research.

Researchers point to an increased use of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods: forms of birth control that work over a long period of time, and that don’t require the user to pay much attention to them, such as IUDs and birth control implants. How IUDs played a crucial role in the lower numbers.

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8 lies we need to stop spreading about teenage motherhood

Nearly 6% of teenage women in the U.S. aged 15 to 19 years old become pregnant each year. While this may seem high to some, in fact it’s a record low. Citing the most recent statistics on teenage pregnancy available, a 2014 Guttmacher Institute report shows that in 2010, close to 615,000 teen pregnancies occurred, marking a 51% decline since 1990.

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alternageek  asked:

For my New Years Resolution, I'm giving more to Charity. Starting today I'm giving cash to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Trevor Project & Guttmacher Institute. Its not a lot of cash I'm giving, but its what I can afford to do. Maybe it will help make the world a little bit better.

If you’re looking for something you can do to try to stave off the awfulness, this is a good thing to do, if you can.

West Virginia just joined the growing list of states with only one abortion provider

  • Last week, West Virginia became the latest state with only one abortion provider when the Kanawha Surgicenter in Charleston closed up.
  • Now the Women’s Health Center, on Charleston’s West Side, is the only abortion clinic left in the entire state.
  • West Virginia is by no means the only state with one abortion provider. 
  • A study released this month by the Guttmacher Institute found that in 2014, there were five states with only one abortion clinic: Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Read more

The dark history of the pill you’ve never heard 

The pill. Freedom in a tablet. The cause célèbre of the women’s rights movement. More women (27.5%, according to recent data from the Guttmacher Institute) rely on the pill than any other type of contraception, yet public discourse suggests that most, on the pill or not, have no idea about its past anchored in eugenics, sexism and racism.

The irony of the pill is that before being marketed predominately to white women in America as a symbol of independence, it was tested women of color — many of whom were forced to undergo sterilization.

The state with the highest rate of Google searches for self-induced abortions is Mississippi, which now has one abortion clinic. Eight of the 10 states with the highest search rates for self-induced abortions are considered by the Guttmacher Institute to be hostile or very hostile to abortion. None of the 10 states with the lowest search rates for self-induced abortion are in either category.
Search rates for self-induced abortion were fairly steady from 2004 through 2007. They began to rise in late 2008, coinciding with the financial crisis and the recession that followed. They took a big leap in 2011, jumping 40 percent. The Guttmacher Institute singles out 2011 as the beginning of the country’s recent crackdown on abortion; 92 provisions that restrict access to abortion were enacted. There was not a comparable increase in searches for self-induced abortions in Canada, which has not cracked down.
One recent survey in Texas also reported a surprisingly high number of attempted self-induced abortions. It found that 4.1 percent of Texas women were sure or suspected that their best friend had tried a self-induced abortion. The researchers asked about best friends because women may not feel comfortable admitting their own attempts. In fact, so much secrecy surrounds abortion today that it is likely that many women would not know that their closest friends had tried a self-induced abortion.

As states pass laws making it harder and harder to obtain a safe, legal abortion, the rate of DIY abortions seems to be on the rise. As the New York Times reports

“In 2015, in the United States, there were about 119,000 searches for the exact phrase “how to have a miscarriage.” There were also searches for other variants — “how to self-abort” — and for particular methods. Over all, there were more than 700,000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortions in 2015.”

The rates of searching for information on how to self-induce abortion coincides somewhat with states passing restrictive laws: 

“The state with the highest rate of Google searches for self-induced abortions is Mississippi, which has one abortion clinic. Eight of the 10 states with the highest search rates for self-induced abortions are considered by the Guttmacher Institute to be hostile or very hostile to abortion. None of the 10 states with the lowest search rates for self-induced abortion are in either category.”


The State Of The Uterus: 2015 In Reproductive Rights

The past few years have seen an unprecedented rise in restrictions on access to abortion care and reproductive health. According to reproductive-rights research and policy center the Guttmacher Institute, between 2010 and 2014, 231 new restrictions on abortion have been passed on the state level. Sadly, the trends continued in 2015.


According to the Guttmacher Institute, one in three women in America will have had an abortion by the age of 45. This issue knows no educational, ethnic, or class boundaries. Nearly half of the pregnancies in American women are unintended, and four in 10 of them end in abortion. And every woman is different. Every circumstance is complex.
—  Rev. Tamara Lebak, Associate Minister, All Souls Unitarian Church
It’s an incredible devaluing of the insurance that you as an employee work for. This is telling you that you can’t use your compensation — your own benefits that you have earned — in a way that your boss objects to. And that is a frightening road for us to be going down, as a society.

Adam Sonfield, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. Health care is your life, your benefit earned through working.

“It’s frankly a rather radical idea — the idea that someone can say that if your visit to your doctor is going to receive payment from your insurance company, then your doctor can’t talk to you about certain subjects.“

Goes before the Supreme Court next week.

So, there actually is NO teen pregnancy crisis in this country. Not even a little bit. In fact, teen pregnancy rates, teen birthrates, and teen abortion rates are at HISTORIC LOWS.

The next time you hear someone rambling about the epidemic of teen pregnancy, send ‘em this handy graph from the Guttmacher Institute and tell 'em to zip it.