Abortion rates are the lowest they’ve been in a decade, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Abortions that were reported from 2006 to 2015 in participating areas fell 24 percent, from 842,855 to 638,169.
The number fell more dramatically among teens ages 15 to 19. It decreased 54 percent from 2006 to 2015, the CDC pointed out.
"This decrease in abortion rate was greater than the decreases for women in any older age group," they said in a statement.
The report does have its limitations since reporting is voluntary and requirements vary from state to state.
The number of abortions reported to the CDC is just 68-71 percent of the number established in a census of abortion providers by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research and policy group, the report acknowledged.
The CDC also noted that “three of the 52 reporting areas (California, Maryland, and New Hampshire) did not provide CDC data for 2006–2015 on a consistent annual basis.”
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate, had a mixed reaction to the survey.
“It’s always good news when abortions decline but these numbers are hard to take seriously when the state that performs the most abortions is not included in the report,” she commented due to her own experience with California’s high abortion rate.
“There is also no record of the many complications of abortion that women experience,” she added, “likely because those instances are shoved under the mat in many abortion clinics.”
While the CDC did not speculate as to cause of the decline in the abortion rate, abortion and pro-life advocates had some theories.
Rachel Jones, the principal research scientist for the Guttmacher Institute, told The Washington Post, that she believes the decline can be attributed to more widespread contraceptive use as well as less access to abortion.
"Analyses have suggested that improved contraceptive use played a role in the long-term declines. In some states, decreased access to abortion services contributed, as well,” she commented.
Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, argued that the decline may be due to an increase in women deciding to carry unintended pregnancies to term as well as more prevalent pro-life views.
“A higher percentage of women today decide to carry an unexpected pregnancy to term,” he said, “teenagers are less sexually active and with fewer partners, pro-life views are more prevalent among the rising generation than they were 40 years ago.”