The latest statistics on US abortions are out, and are largely being interpreted as reflecting historic lows in the rate of terminated pregnancies.
The Washington Post, in its article on the new study by a pro-abortion-rights think tank, perpetuated the narrative with its headline “Study: Abortion rates at lowest point since 1973”:
The abortion rate in the United States dropped to its lowest point since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in all 50 states, according to a study suggesting that new, long-acting contraceptive methods are having a significant impact in reducing unwanted pregnancies.
There were fewer than 17 abortions for every 1,000 women in 2011, the latest year for which figures were available, according a paper published Monday from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion-rights think tank. That is down 13 percent from 2008 and a little higher than the rate in 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
While the number of abortions per 1,000 women has indeed declined to its lowest point in the four decades since Roe v Wade, it’s also fair to say that the number of abortions committed in the US is up nearly 50% since the procedure became legal nationwide.
According to the Christian Life Resources organization, there were 744,600 US abortions in 1973. The latest figures, for 2011, show 1.1 million abortions. That’s a 48% increase, which slightly outpaces the growth of the total US population, which increased 47% in that same time frame.