The number of abortions performed in the United States in 1996 did not increase from 1995 and remained at the lowest level in two decades, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.
Total abortions reported equaled 1,221,585 in 1996. For every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, 20 had abortions that year.
There was a steady increase in the abortion rate after it was legalized in 1973, up until 1980 when for every 1,000 women, 25 had an abortion. Rates began falling in 1992, and have decreased every year up until 1996, which remained steady.
A drop in unwanted pregnancies may be a cause of the decline, according to the CDC. There are, however, fewer abortion clinics and providers, abortion rights groups point out.