The latest report from the Guttmacher Institute showed a historic drop in the national abortion rate in the United States. According to the report, since the Roe v Wade case legalized the procedure, the women are aborting less year after year.
The study found that the national rate has dropped to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women. The registered women are those aged between 15 to 44 years-old. This rate is the lowest since the Roe v Wade case that was followed by the landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1973.
Another fantastic finding the report showed was that for the first time since 1970, the number of abortions nationwide were located below the 1 million mark. The year that most abortions were reported was 1990 when 1.6 million procedures were registered.
Other conclusions from the report include the fact that more than 2% of abortion patients were in their 20’s, and 12 percent of those persons were adolescents. Also, the study found that almost 20 percent of pregnant women in the year 2014 performed an abortion procedure.
Meanwhile, 39% of the abortions were conducted by white women, while African American women registered the 28% of abortion cases.
Possible reasons that could explain this historic drop
Both leaders of the report from the Guttmacher Institute called “Abortion Incidence and Service Availability in the United States, 2014”, Rachel Jones, and Jenna Jerman, support the national legalization of abortion. The authors didn’t focus on the causes for the steady drop, although they have two possible reasons.
First, the authors think that the population might have improved concerning the usage of contraceptive mechanisms. This has relation to the fact that now women have been able to pay and plan their pregnancy process instead of performing an abortion.
The second reason has to do with the fact that many states had severed their respective legislations against abortions. This translates into women being forced to travel longer distances to conduct an abortion procedure.
“The majority of abortion patients — 75% — are poor or low-income, and nearly two-thirds are already parents. It can be very difficult for them to arrange for time off from work, transportation and child care,” the report leader, Rachel Jones, said in an interview this Tuesday.
However, the study didn’t find any evidence regarding a possible connection between the presence of clinical centers in certain areas and the drop or rise in the abortion rates. For example, the number of clinics located in the Midwest zone declined about 22 percent, while the number of abortions only fell 9 percent.
Also, in the Northeast, the number of medical centers increased almost 15 percent, while the number of abortions in that zone declined 11 percent between 2011 and 2014.
However, in a national scale, the number of clinical centers that could conduct abortions lowered in 6%, when comparing with 2011 numbers.
Trump’s posture concerning abortion legislation
The publication of the report comes just a couple of days before Republican President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House on January 20 and becomes the 45th President of the United States. Also, the survey was released 10 days before Trump adviser and campaign collaborator Kellyanne Conway speaks in the upcoming 44th annual March for Life on Jan. 27.
The civic organizations that favor the legalization of abortion in the country are concerned about Trump posture concerning this issue. President Trump will nominate a justice to replace deceased Judge Antonin Scalia, who was a member of the United States Supreme Court for over 30 years.
Many experts are worried that that decision from Trump administration regarding the members of the court could translate into the revoking of the 7-2 Roe v Wade legislation. When Trump was a Presidential candidate, he even mentioned in a debate last fall that if the Roe v Wade decision is overturned, the United States will return to the previous legislation concerning abortion.
According to Megan Donovan, a senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a better policy regarding the benefits of birth control method is the key to the lowering of the number of abortions in the country.
“The primary driver behind the decline was most likely improved contraceptive use, which leads to fewer unintended pregnancies,” Donovan says. “This is good news because it suggests women are increasingly able to access the resources they need to plan their families and avoid unintended pregnancy.”
For the people against the abortion legalization, the results of the report show a different benchmark. The director of education and research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund, Randall O’Bannon, said that they still have a lot of ground to cover to regain the moral and legal aspects regarding abortion.
However, O’Bannon acknowledges that is a wonderful milestone the fact that the number of abortions nationwide was below the 1 million for the first time in 30 years. He says that a society shift could be influencing the rates, as there is a moral increase in the sense of the Americans and they have started considering that abortion is not the solution.