Abortion rates dropped 27 percent in California in the past six years, with various theories attributed to the cause of the decline, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The numbers come from the Guttmacher Institute, the former pro-abortion research arm of Planned Parenthood. According to its report, there were about 157,000 abortions in 2014, a 27-percent drop from the 214,000 in 2008.
“The national abortion rate dipped 25 percent during the same period. All but six states nationwide saw a decrease in abortion numbers between 2011 and 2014,” according to the news report.
There are multiple reasons being speculated as the root cause of the decline.
“In general we think fewer women are getting pregnant when they don’t want to, which means fewer abortions,” Rachel Jones, Principal Scientist Researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, told the Sacramento Bee. “For some women in some states it was decreased access to abortion. The states that had fewer clinics over the years, for about half it seemed clear that they changed the laws and that had attributed to the decline.”
The report continues to say that 99 percent of California’s women live in a county with access to an abortion facility, unlike Wyoming where only 4 percent of women live in a county with access to an abortion center. Furthermore, the report states that California has some of the nation’s most liberal abortion laws including the ability for minors to seek abortions without parental consent or notification.
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“States that have policies and that attempt to uphold women’s rights may just have a climate where women are freer to discuss and access health care coverage,” said Julie Anderson, Senior Research Associate for the Guttmacher Institute. “Maybe contraception is more understood, acceptable, available.”
Others cite the current political climate and the efforts of the pro-life message to reach more people and effectively close down abortion facilities throughout the country as shifting the momentum toward life.
Randall O’Bannon, Director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life, told the news outlet the decline could have to do with greater pro-life educational and outreach efforts.
“We believe that when women have the chance to hear other views, when given information about private and public assistance that is available to them, when ultrasound images confirm their gut feelings about the humanity of their unborn child, when they understand more clearly that abortion will not be the answer to their problems but can indeed make things worse, they’ll choose to let their babies live,” O’Bannon said.
Others attribute increased sex education to the decline in California’s abortion statistics.
“When you think about it, there’s no woman that says ‘I want to have an abortion. The more education and prevention we provide our women, the more they’ll be able to plan their pregnancies and take care of their bodies, as opposed to not providing access and then saying, ‘Now you’re pregnant,’” stated Socorro Santillan, Director of Barrios Unidos, a non-profit group in Fresno whose mission is focused on sex education, sexually transmitted disease testing, pregnancy testing and subsequent referrals as needed, the Fresno Bee continued.
The abortion rate mirrors a national decline that even abortion advocates are attributing to the work of pro-lifers.
In January, Guttmacher, considered to have the most comprehensive abortion numbers for the U.S., reported an estimated 926,200 abortions in 2014 and 958,700 in 2013. The abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age) also dropped to 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, down 14 percent from 2011, according to the report.
The numbers are the lowest since 1975, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, allowing abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.
Notably, the pro-abortion researchers partially attributed the decline to pro-life efforts. In the past, Guttmacher and other abortion advocacy groups have avoided giving pro-lifers credit for the declines.