Abortion Rate Falls to Record Lows in U.S., CDC Report Finds

March for Life 2015
The March for Life in January 2015 in Washington, D.C. |

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a second report in less than a month showing a decline in yearly abortions.

After the CDC released a report in late November stating that the the number of U.S. abortions carried out in 2012 was less than half of the amount of abortions conducted during the highest point in the 1980s, the CDC released another report last Friday that focuses on 2010 pregnancy rates among women in the U.S.

The report shows that the abortion rate in in 2010 was over one-third lower than it was in 1990.

According to the data, which is based off of records from the CDC-operated National Vital Statistics System and the Abortion Surveillance System, the number of abortions conducted in 2010 was 1.1 million, which is down from the 1.6 million abortions performed in 1990.

As the number of pregnancies reached its lowest rate since 1986, the report finds that the abortion rate in the U.S. hit a new low in 2010, as only 17.7 abortion procedures were performed per every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44). In 1980, over 29.4 abortions were performed per every 1,000 women of childbearing age.

As the report released on Friday only has data going up to 2010, the report released in November shows that the abortion rate dropped an additional five percent from 2010 to 2011.

"[T]he total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 13 percent, 14 percent, and 12 percent, respectively," the report states. "In 2011, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002–2011)."

While the overall abortion rate is on the decline, last Friday's report also shows that abortion is on the decline across racial classes.

The abortion rate for Caucasian-Americans fell to 9.8 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age in 2010, compared to the 19.7 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age in 1990.

There was nearly a 15-point abortion drop in the abortion rate of Hispanic-Americans from 1990 to 2010. In 2010, Latinas had abortions at a rate of 20.3 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age, while in 1990, that rate was 35.1 per 1,000.

African-Americans still have the highest abortion rate, but that too, is on the decline.

While African-American women got abortions at a rate of 47.7 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age in 2010, that rate is down by nearly 20 abortions per 1,000 women from where it was in 1990.

While the report finds that the pregnancy rate for women under 30 has been consistently falling since the 1990s, the decline in the abortion rate may have something to do with the fact that the pregnancy rate among 15 to 19 year olds has been cut approximately in half since 1990.

In 2010, there were only 32.2 pregnancies per 1,000 15 to 17-year-old girls, while there were only 96.8 pregnancies per 1,000 18 to 19 year-old girls. In 1990, there were 77.1 pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 17, while there were 167.7 pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 18 to 19.

Although the latest abortion numbers that the CDC released last Friday went as far as 2010, Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser at the pro-life group Operation Rescue, told LifeSite News that she expects the abortion numbers to keep declining as more and more data becomes available.

"As the numbers from 2012 and 2013 come in, we can expect a dramatic decrease in the number of abortions nationwide, since this is when the flood of pro-life legislation as a result of conservative gains in the 2010 midterm elections goes into effect," Sullenger said.

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