by Kelvey Vander Hart
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave the pro-life movement even more to be thankful for this year, releasing a report that shows abortion rates have hit a decade low.
Data collected for the most recent report shows trends from 2006 to 2015, the last year surveyed. Over those years, the number of reported abortions in surveyed areas dropped from 842,855 to 638,169, a 24-percent decrease. The 2015 survey gathered data from 49 of the 52 areas typically surveyed, with Maryland, New Hampshire, and California being excluded.
Voluntary data is usually collected from the fifty states, New York City, and the District of Columbia. The CDC has been completing these ‘abortion surveillance’ reports since 1969, measuring abortion rates and the characteristics of those who obtain abortions. Reported metrics include number of reported abortions, abortion rate, and abortion ratio.
The 2015 measured abortion ratio revealed that per every 1,000 live births, there were 188 abortions, a number that is 19 percent lower than 2006. Among women aged 15-44, the abortion ratio also decreased 26 percent from 2006 to 2015, dropping from 15.9 to 11.8 abortions per every 1,000 women.
“The new CDC report shows a continuation of long-term declines in abortions,” stated Rachel Jones, the principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute. “Analyses have suggested that improved contraceptive use played a role… In some states, decreased access to abortion services contributed as well.”
While the report detailed the drop in number of abortions, it also gave insight into the demographics of those who obtained abortions. The majority of these women were in their 20s, with 31.1 percent in the 20-24 age range and 27.6 percent in the 25-29 age range. Even more notably, the abortion rate for women ages 15-19 fell by an astounding 54 percent from 2006 to 2015.
Even with an encouraging drop in number of abortions over the past decade, the report still reveals much progress that must be made. Nearly 44 percent of the women surveyed in 2015 had sought out an abortion before, and more than 8 percent had obtained three or more prior to 2015.
The pro-life movement has advanced a great deal, but as long as there is a culture that encourages abortion and dehumanizes the unborn, we still have a long way to go.