The Centers for Disease Control released its national abortion report on Friday and the new figured show the number of abortions in the United States has declined to a historic low. 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.
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.
The data also indicates abortions are down on younger women — making it clear that efforts to provide abortion alternatives to teens and college students has paid dividends. Although there is much good news in the latest report, the numbers also show that abortions are up among older women, especially among women over the age of 40 — who may be increasingly using abortion as a form of birth control.
The CDC also indicates 10 women died in 2011 as a result of legal abortions, which are not safer for women simply because they are legal.
“Deaths of women associated with complications from abortions for 2011 are being investigated as part of CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2010, the most recent year for which data were available, 10 women were identified to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions. No reported deaths were associated with known illegal induced abortions,” it said.
According to the numbers, there were 730,322 abortions for a rate of 219 per 1,000 live births. In 2002 there were 854,122. Most were to women in their 20s, or 57.8 percent. Most abortions took place before the 13th week of pregnancy. White women had the lowest abortion rates while black women continued to have the highest.
The CDC report indicates that 19 percent of abortions done before 13 weeks of pregnancy were done using the dangerous mifepristone, or RU 486, abortion pill.
This report is based on abortion data for 2011 that were provided voluntarily to CDC by the central health agencies of 49 reporting areas (the District of Columbia; New York City; and 47 states, excluding California, Maryland, and New Hampshire.