According to the Guttmacher Institute’s latest survey, abortions hit a new low since the practice was legalized in 1973 nationwide by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. The report states that 926,200 women chose to have an abortion in 2014, which translates to a 12.5 percent drop from previous surveys that showed as many as 1.06 million women sought medical help to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy in 2011.
As of now, the Guttmacher Institute is the only U.S. entity that strives to count all abortions nationwide since the latest surveys compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are lacking data from Maryland, California, and New Hampshire. The survey was made public on Tuesday, January 17th.
Moreover, the researchers were able to conclude, based on the latest findings, that the drop in applies to almost every state in the country. The only states that experienced an increase in abortions are New York, Florida, District of Columbia, and Maryland. However, at the same time, Mississippi, Wyoming, and South Dakota had the lowest rates, with only one clinic operating in 2014.
Furthermore, the number of abortion clinics also experienced a 6 percent decline. As opposed to 2011, when 839 abortion clinics were operating nationwide, the Guttmacher Institute found only 788 still open in 2014.
Jenna Jerman and Rachel Jones, the authors of the study associate the decline in abortions with two main factors: long-lasting, efficient, and affordable contraceptive measures, and the surge of abortion restrictions that ultimately forced several clinics nationwide to close down, hindering women’s access to the procedure.
According to the report, the majority of women who are seeking an abortion either have low incomes. At the same time, almost two-thirds already have children.
“It can be very difficult for them to arrange for time off from work, transportation and child care”, said Rachel Jones.
The study shows that abortion rates dropped considerably in some liberal states that protect abortion rights, such as California, as well as in other conservative states which have passed laws in order to restrict abortions in the past, such as Texas all the same. According to the authors, the decline is most likely attributed to women who were unable to access the procedure.
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