Some heartening news from a report released Friday:
From 2010 to 2011, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 5% and the abortion ratio decreased 4%, and from 2002 to 2011, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 13%, 14%, and 12%, respectively. In 2011, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002–2011).
In 2011 and throughout the period of analysis, women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions and had the highest abortion rates, and women in their 30s and older accounted for a much smaller percentage of abortions and had lower abortion rates. In 2011, women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years accounted for 32.9% and 24.9% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 24.9 and 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years, respectively. In contrast, women aged 30–34, 35–39, and ≥40 years accounted for 15.8%, 8.9%, and 3.6% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 12.7, 7.5, and 2.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years, 35–39 years, and ≥40 years, respectively. Throughout the period of analysis, abortion rates decreased among women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years by 21% and 16%, respectively, whereas they increased among women aged ≥40 years by 8%.
In 2011, adolescents aged <15 and 15–19 years accounted for 0.4% and 13.5% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 0.9 and 10.5 abortions per 1,000 adolescents aged <15 and 15–19 years, respectively. From 2002 to 2011, the percentage of abortions accounted for by adolescents aged 15–19 years decreased 21% and their abortion rate decreased 34%. These decreases were greater than the decreases for women in any older age group.
Although 730,322 babies lost their lives in abortions in 2011, the latest year CDC has produced figures for, that represents a decline of about half since the highs of more than 1.5 million in the late 1980s, when the effect of legalizing abortion in 1973 finally took its full effect.
The new CDC report also indicates the abortion rate has also declined to a historic low. At their high decades ago, approximately 1 in 3 pregnancies ended in an abortion — resulting in brochures, banners and billboards proclaiming that fact and greying out every third baby displayed in pictures of newborn children. Thanks to pro-life laws, educational efforts, pregnancy centers and the actions of pro-life groups that have resulted in closing down abortion clinics, now just 18 percent of all pregnancies in the United States end in an abortion.
“Large decreases in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions from 2010 to 2011, in combination with decreases that occurred during 2008-2010, resulted in historic lows for all three measures of abortion,” said the CDC.