Although abortion rates increased immediately following the passage of Roe v. Wade, the number of abortions in the United States has decreased over the past three decades.
The 7-3 Supreme Court decision in 1973 led to 16.3 abortions per 1,000 women, according to a 2011 report by pro-choice think tank, the Guttmacher Institute
. By 1980, the rate peaked with 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women being performed.
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Over the next three decades, however, the pro-life movement continued to gain steam and states began to pass further restrictions on abortion.
In 2011, Guttmacher reported the rate was 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women, the lowest it has been since the Roe v. Wade decision.
Some also credit the decrease to newer, long-acting contraceptive methods that have reduced unplanned pregnancies.
“Contraceptive use improved during this period,” the study’s lead author Rachel Jones said in a Guttmacher Institute news release
. “Moreover, the recent recession led many women and couples to want to avoid or delay pregnancy and childbearing.”
Reuters noted overall pregnancy and birth rates
declined over this time as well. Additionally, there was a drop of 4 percent of abortion providers between 2009 and 2011. Early medication abortions experienced an increase even though the overall rate decreased.
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Nonetheless, over the past 42 years, approximately 57 million children have been aborted, according to LifeNews.com
A CNN poll showed one in four Americans
believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, one in five say it should always be illegal, and more than half think abortion should be legal in some cases.
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