Beltway Confidential

Abortion rate plunges to lowest level since 1976

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Beltway Confidential,Health,Joel Gehrke,Abortion

Centers for Disease Control researchers found that the abortion rate has fallen dramatically over the past two decades to its lowest point since 1976, according to a new report out today.

Among pregnant unmarried women, the abortion rate fell from 47.7 per 1,000 in 1990 to 28.9 per 1,000 in 2009. Among pregnant married women, the abortion rate fell from 10.6 per 1,000 to 6.1 per 1,000 over the same time. Combined, the rate fell about a third and is the lowest since 1976 — just three years after the Supreme Court decided that states could not outlaw the procedure.

The pregnancy rate also declined to its second-lowest level in 30 years, falling from 115.8 per 1,000 to 102.1 per 1,000, with the largest declines coming in teen pregnancy rates.

The abortion rate among teens has not fallen as dramatically as the pregnancy rate, but the CDC found "a continuation of a long-term downward trend in the percentage of teenagers who are sexually experienced, and a long-term upward trend in the use of contraception at first sex."

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