The rate and number of US abortions have plummeted to their lowest levels since 1973 when the procedure became legal nationwide.
According to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortions in 2017 was 862,000 as compared to 926,000 in 2014 and more than a million accounted for in 2011.
Guttmacher is a renowned research group which supports abortion rights and is the only entity striving to count all abortions carried out in the US by making inquiries of most individual providers.
The historic low figures come as many states in the US push for and pass restrictive abortion legislation. This includes six states that have outlawed abortions after six weeks of pregnancy under so-called ‘heartbeat’ bans.
However, the Guttmacher report clearly states that the bans are not the main drivers in the glaring reductions. Instead, the abortion decline falls in sync with a decline in the number of births and pregnancies in the US.
There were over 400 state laws enacted between 2011 and 2017 that restricted abortion access. The report does not chronicle the data from 2019 that includes a flurry of abortion bans enacted in several morally righteous GOP-controlled states, which haven’t taken effect yet.
The law backers are in hopes that litigation may eventually result in a Supreme Court ruling that would weaken or completely overturn Roe v. Wade. Many people believe abortion should be a state by state issue – not something dictated out of Washington.