Home Headlines Five Theories For The Record-Low US Abortion Rate

Five Theories For The Record-Low US Abortion Rate

Five Theories For The Record-Low US Abortion Rate
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In 1973 the U.S Supreme Court made the decision of legalizing the terminating procedure of pregnancy. Since the decision there has been remarkable increase in the abortions especially in the western world. But today the rate of abortion in US has declined greatly since that decision. According to experts, determining the exact reason of low rates of abortion since the 1973 decision of U.S. Supreme Court is not possible.

The result of a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute – a research institute that always supports the rights to abortion was published on Wednesday. According to the report there is a decline of 7% in abortion rate from 2014-2017.

In the year 2017 almost 862,320 abortions were done. According to studies almost 200,000 fewer abortions were performed as compared to 2011. If we compare the present statistics of abortion rates with those of 1990 we will notice that the rate of abortion has declines quite sharply as they were as high as 1.6 million.

The politicians from conservative party have been making special efforts to restrict the access to abortion but Guttmacher does not admit there success and says that this decline might not have any connection with those efforts or the new laws implemented.

According to the reports of Guttmacher Institute there are five main theories that could be the working force behind the decline in the rates of abortion in the U.S.A.


The author responsible for compiling the Guttmacher report which is a survey based report in which a number of hospitals and abortion clinics are surveyed- says that one of the main reasons of decline in abortion rate is better and easily accessible contraceptive devices for females. The implants and intrauterine devices have improved over the last few years and the best point is that most of the insurance companies cover them since the 2009 “Obamacare” or in other words Affordable
Care Act.

The policy manager of Guttmacher Institue Elizabeth Nash says that not only affordable care act, but  other local legislation too has made the access to birth control ways more convenient. She warned that the report does provide information on the national average but it does not inform you about the individual cases. According to the report a women had to travel almost 55km for an abortion in the year 2014 but a small number of women are forced to travel for long distances for abortion. Elizabeth Nash said that while some people have to travel for hundreds of miles for abortion the others living in big cities can just take a train or a bus.


There are a small number of women who have been preferring abortion at home naturally as they do not want to undergo surgery. But as this is not a popular trend as 95% abortion cases are still handled at hospitals and clinics. It is very hard to keep track of all the abortions that are not done at clinics or specialized hospitals but if registered they could help explain the decline in abortion rate. The medical abortions done at home using abortion pills increased from 20% in 2014 to 39% in 2017. According to the details mentioned in the report four out of ten abortions were done without surgery using the abortion pills in 2017.


Right from the year 2011 to 2017 a number of amendments took place regarding the laws about abortion. No less than 32 U.S. states sanctioned 394 new limitations on abortion. Some of the conservative supporting states sanctioned the harshest of all restrictions in the year 2018 after the completion of last Guttmacher survey of 2018. Some of those harsh restrictions are still not implemented due to blockage by the court. Anti-abortion supporters seem glad about the declining abortion rate as they think it is the proof of efficacy of regional laws for the prevention of abortion.

Bragging about their efforts Laura Echevarria a member of anti-abortion committee known as national Right to Life Committee, she said that their efforts were having an impact.

Elizabeth Nash from Guttmacher said that the regional restrictions no doubt play a role in the change in rates of abortions on national level, but the numbers don’t make the picture clear. She said that it does not matter whether the abortion rate has increased or decreased what we should think about is the operational abortion services, their availability and affordability.

Some of the U.S. states that implemented the abortion restrictions between 2014 and 2017 experienced increase in the rate of abortions. On the other hand in some states where more clinics for abortions were opened the abortion rate declined. Generally speaking the US experienced net gain in the number of abortion clinics in the three years that Guttmacher targeted in its report, but a huge number of abortion clinics got closed by 2017.


Since 1987 the birth rate in U.S. has declined as the women believe in family planning and no more than 2 kids are part of their plan. According to U.S research experts the reason for falling birth rate is the women’s love for higher education and career and the concept of housewife is vanishing away. Some other reasons of low birth rate is the easy access to contraceptives, the expectations of the society, and provision of limited parental leave.


According to a number of anti- abortion organizations the data collected by Guttmacher is accurate as it is closely connected with abortion services providers. The last but very important reason behind decline in abortion rate is the increase awareness among women about getting pregnant again and again and going through abortion. The women have become more health aware than before.

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