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Decline In Abortion Rate Levels Off

A recent study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute indicates that the decline in abortion rate from 1990 to 2005 has leveled off. Guttmacher surveyed approximately 1,800 abortion providers and found that medical abortions, performed by giving the woman a combination of two medications by pill form, have increased. The study also showed abortions are occurring earlier in pregnancy and primarily because medical abortions via pills can be provided earlier in a pregnancy, according to the study. Today some 59 percent of abortion providers offer medical abortion services.

The study found that the abortion rate in 2008 was 19.6 per 1,000 for women between the ages of 15 and 44 and had not changed since 2005. Rates of abortion varied by region of the country and by state with the West and the Northeast having the highest rates.

Sharon Camp, the President and CEO of the Guttmacher Instituted stated, “In this time of heightened politicization around abortion, our stalled progress should be an urgent message to policymakers that we need to do more to increase access to contraceptive services to prevent unintended pregnancy, while ensuring access to abortion services for the many women who still need them.”

Sources:

Guttmacher Institute 1/11/11; Washington Post 1/11/11; NPR 1/11/11

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