Abortion rates have dropped to the lowest numbers recorded since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2016, the CDC received reports of 623,471 abortions, down 2 percent from the previous year, with 11.6 abortions occurring per 1,000 women compared to 11.8 the year prior. Women in their 20s obtained the majority of those abortions, while teenagers comprise the age group with the largest decrease in abortion rates between 2007 and 2016. Nearly two-thirds of the abortions in 2016 occurred at or before eight weeks of gestation, with 91 percent of them performed during the first trimester and 28 percent induced by the abortion pill at or before eight weeks. The numbers are likely understated because California, Maryland, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia do not submit abortion data to the CDC.
The birth rate has also reached its lowest point in three decades, with 3,791,712 births registered last year, a 2 percent drop from the year prior and the fourth year in a row that number has declined. —M.J.