Abortions Declining in U.S., Study Finds


#1

fyi…

FEB. 2, 2014

The abortion rate among American women declined to its lowest level in more than three decades in 2011, according to a new report to be released Monday that is widely considered the country’s most definitive examination of abortion trends.
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nytimes.com/2014/02/03/us/abortions-declining-in-us-study-finds.html?action=click&contentCollection=Movies&region=Footer&module=TopNews&pgtype=article

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#2

A couple points from the article seem noteworthy:

The decline in abortions from 2008 to 2011 was mirrored by a decline in pregnancy rates.

The use of medication abortions, normally within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, was rising.

So, why are abortions and pregnancies both falling? Is it due to less sexual activity or due to more effective contraceptive use?

Does the increased use of medication abortion cause an undercount in the actual rate of abortion, since researchers might be unaware of some doctors who are providing abortions?

What are the effects on tighter abortion restrictions, which have recently been passed in many states?


#3

The article at least partially answers those questions. Long term contraception like iud use is increasing but most of the restrictions didn’t pass until after the study period (2011 or later).

I thought two points were interesting - abortion rates are falling even in states like CA and NY. And also that they liked failing abortion and pregnancy rates to the recession. So apparently people can limit their sex lives given enough cause. The trick is now to figure out how to maintain continance while improving the economy.


#4

Still, 1.1 million dead on the altar of selfishness.


#5

:(:(:(:(:(:frowning:


#6

America is greying. Old women don’t have abortions. Dropping numbers of abortions therefore do not necessarily speak to a significant change of values. As the culture of death sets in, it ought not to be a surprise that the abortion rate is declining.

Changing technology such as the abortion pill likewise will have an effect on the number of actual abortions.


#7

That was my first thought, when I saw the headlines. However, I am not sure that an aging population can account for the changes found by the research.

US Census data, comparing 2000 and 2010, shows that a disproportionate bulge of women aged-35-44, moved into an older category and were not replaced by younger women. However, a bulge of women age 16-30 developed during those years. If the majority of abortions are experienced by women younger than 30, then demographic changes wouldn’t account for the drop in abortions. The same is probably true of pregnancies as well.
census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf
(see Fig. 2)

Granted, the census data is for a period which does not correspond perfectly to period covered by the study we are discussing. However, I think the trends are large enough that the census data is relevant.


#8

There are studies that show young adult sex has declined.
nypost.com/2011/03/04/mystery-of-the-decline-in-teen-sex/


#9

New Guttmacher Study Ignores Impact of Public Debate Regarding Rights of Unborn on Abortion Rates

“That abortion rates and numbers continue to decline is heartening because it shows that women are rejecting the idea of abortion as the answer to an unexpected pregnancy,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “This latest report from Guttmacher shows the long-term efforts of the right-to-life movement to educate the country about the humanity of the unborn child and to enact laws that help children and their mothers are having a tremendous impact.”

The Guttmacher report attempts to downplay the impact of pro-life legislation during the period covered by the report. However this ignores the significant educational impact of the public policy debate surrounding pro-life legislation. Pro-life legislative efforts at the federal and state levels dating back to the 1980s have established legal protections for unborn children and their mothers. They have also increased public awareness about the impact of abortion by prompting discussion of such topics as the development of the unborn child, the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion, and the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure.

In an article about that appeared in The New York Times Magazine (March 30, 2003), titled “Surprise, Mom: I’m Against Abortion,” journalist Elizabeth Hayt wrote,

Experts offer a number of reasons why young people today seem to favor stricter abortion laws than their parents did at the same age. They include the decline in teenage pregnancy over the last 10 years, which has reduced the demand for abortion. They also cite society’s greater acceptance of single parenthood; the spread of ultrasound technology, which has made the fetus seem more human; and the easing of the stigma once attached to giving up a child for adoption. . . . The most commonly cited reason for the increasingly conservative views of young people is their receptiveness to the way anti-abortion campaigners have reframed the national debate on the contentious topic, shifting the emphasis from a woman’s rights to the rights of the fetus . . . . “There’s been so much media attention over the last seven to eight years on partial-birth abortion, we shouldn’t be surprised that some of it has had an effect on 12-to-14-year-olds, and it is a public relations coup for the National Right to Life Committee,” said David J. Garrow, a legal historian at Emory University who has focused on reproductive rights.

A very recent example of the public policy debate came in 2010, when Nebraska became the first state to enact the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a groundbreaking law that provides protection for unborn children capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age. While the Nebraska legislature was considering the bill, a nationwide debate about the capacity of unborn children to feel pain began and once again refocused the country’s attention to the fact that abortion takes the life of a living human being.

In other example, Guttmacher cites the state of Illinois, which saw an 18% decline in abortion numbers even though the state didn’t enact any pro-life legislation during period covered by the report. This neglects, however, that the state’s parental notice law, which had been enjoined since its passage in 1995, was once again in the news in 2009 and 2010 – precisely during the study period – and again prompted a public discussion and debate and parental involvement in a minor daughter’s abortion decision.

“The legislative efforts of the right-to-life movement, and significantly, the resulting national debate and educational campaigns surrounding pro-life legislation should not be minimized when discussing the decline in abortion numbers,” Tobias noted. “The more Americans learn about the development of the unborn child and the tragedy of abortion, the more they reject abortion as a legitimate answer to an unexpected pregnancy.”

The numbers and statistics released today by Guttmacher largely lines up with the estimates published in National Right to Life’s The State of Abortion in the United States, 2014 issued last month. Those estimates were calculated based on recent data from the CDC and previous reports by the Guttmacher Institute. When the numbers from this most recent Guttmacher report are included in totals from previous years, National Right to Life estimates that since abortion was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 twin decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, there have been more than 56 million abortion performed in the United States.

Guttmacher found that the abortion rate – that is, the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 – has reached a low of 16.9, the lowest it has been since 1973.

The Guttmacher report also revealed the abortion ratio was 21.2 per 100 pregnancies ending in live birth or abortion, showing that pregnant women were more likely to choose life for their unborn children than at any time before abortion was legalized in 1973.

Tragically, however, this abortion ratio means that that still more than one in five children conceived in the United States are killed by abortion.

“While overall fewer unborn children are being killed by abortion, the Guttmacher report tragically finds that more than one in five pregnancies ends in abortion and takes the life of a living unborn child,” Tobias noted. “The right-to-life movement must continue its efforts to protect these children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion and our society must do a better job in providing life-affirming alternatives.”


#10

I just read a similar article in the paper this morning that abortion is at its lowest level since around 1973 and has been for the past few years. So it looks like the abortion rate is much lower under Obama than it was under Bush. This is good news, but somehow I can’t imagine anyone here giving credit to Obama, but it sure makes me wonder about the argument that you can never vote for a pro-choice president, no matter what.


#11

I think the abortion rate declining during Obama’s presidency has happened in spite of Obama’s policies, not because of any of them. Or can you point to any of his policies that could of contributed to a decline?


#12

Yes, I can think of a couple.

He got unemployment benefits for unemployed people extended more than once. I could imagine an unemployed woman giving in to the temptation to have an abortion if she couldn’t find a job and had no checks coming in.

Obamacare would at least give a pregnant woman hope that she could get medical care for her child once it is born and also care for herself while she is pregnant. Many people now qualify for Medicaid who wouldn’t have qualified before Obamacare.

He did see that poor people were able to keep getting food stamps, although food stamps had some cuts recently.

A president can’t prevent a woman from having an abortion, but at least he or she can support policies that will make it easier for a pregnant woman and her child to eat.


#13

If abortion rates have in fact gone down ,it isn’t because of Obama but in spite of him


#14

Excellent point.

Sadly, some of the posters on this forum will never give President Obama credit for the declining abortion rates, simply because he’s not ‘pro-life’ in their opinion. However, RESULTS MATTER.


#15

Barack Obama not being “pro life” isn’t a matter of opinion, all one has to do is look at his public statements and his voting recored going back to his time in the Illinois legislature (that is, when he voted other than “present”). The record is incontrovertible.


#16

Good analysis, thanks:thumbsup:
Eventually, age is going to be a reason, if present trends continue.

It is very possible that less and less young people are as interested in sex anymore too.
Somebody already mentioned that as a factor, and that does ring true on a lot of levels.
There are moral levels, for example, and virginity pledges. There are also a lot of young men who find pornography a more successful outlet than the inevitable rejections that come with dating. There is also a higher level of cynicism about the whole prospects of happiness coming through finding a sexual partner, with divorce of one’s parents looming large as a factor in such cynicism that no good will come of it.

Abortion pill and that kind of technology is still a factor; no doubt. a lot of abortions do not make it to the operating table as a result.
It could be as well that young people in America are becoming more sophisticated about contraception, like their European counterparts, and come more prepared to have sex on a date, rather than falling into it.

I would hope that the biggest reason would be that more girls are holding back from the hook-up scene and planning their sexual lives around a marriage to the right man. I am pretty sure the marriage statistics would not back that up as the main factor though.


#17

Not that Obama would want women to have abortions but the problem with some of your comments is that the financial climate in which unemployment benefits have to be extended and the problems surrounding Obamacare could be turned around: What does that say about Obama’s economic policies, that he wants unemployment benefits extended. That means that there aren’t enough jobs being created and/or that employers are letting people go. Regardless of employment benefits being extended, employmenets benefits will run out and that provides an uncertain future financially for a pregnant woman, that is not a good thing. What would be good for pregnant women is to have a job, which can provide for them financially, and they get maternity benefits.

Regarding Obamacare. What about the millions who can’t keep their health insurance either because the insurance company cancelled the plan and/or can’t pay for higher costs? What about the employers who have dropped coverage for people who work for them so now the employers have to pay for insurance themselves which for a pregant woman, adds an extra financial burden?


#18

Not that Obama would want women to have abortions but the problem with some of your comments is that the claim that unemployments being extended and Obamacare coverage preventing abortioncould be turned around and the financial climate in which unemployment benefits have to be extended and the problems surrounding Obamacare could be reasons why women get abortion.

What does that say about Obama’s economic policies, that he wants unemployment benefits extended. That means that there aren’t enough jobs being created and/or that employers are letting people go. Regardless of employment benefits being extended, employmenets benefits will run out and that provides an uncertain future financially for a pregnant woman, that is not a good thing. What would be good for pregnant women is to have a job, which can provide for them financially, and they get maternity benefits.

Regarding Obamacare. What about the millions who can’t keep their health insurance either because the insurance company cancelled the plan and/or can’t pay for higher costs? What about the employers who have dropped coverage for people who work for them so now the employers have to pay for insurance themselves which for a pregant woman, adds an extra financial burden?


#19

He can push for making it illegal, he can appoint judges that will right the wrong perpetrated on millions of children and their parents.

Let me ask you, has the social programs you mention that you think has lowered abortion saved more lives than if in that same time Roe V Wade would have been reversed? Not sure if you caught that number, 1.1 million. That’s how many did NOT get saved by Obama’s policies.

This “Catholic” way of thinking, or justifying, is misplaced. It is not a virtuous Catholic who votes for a person who makes me feel like their intention is to save, it is a virtuous Catholic who votes for change. We must begin to vote with our faith on our sleeves. Catholics are bound by risk of grave sin if we vote for a candidate who supports abortion on demand; no matter how good they make us feel about ourselves and yes even though we do not vote for the candidate because of his/her support of abortion. We may be less culpable, but it is still grave matter no matter how we slice it.

PS. No, abortion is not down because af any policy which the Democrat Party or Republican Party has promulgated. It is definitely not down because of ANY policy of Obama; it is falling in spite of all these politicians.


#20

The thought that BO had anything AT ALL to do with declining abortion numbers, is just plain -----. (At the risk of being reprimanded for insulting a poster I removed the word I used.)


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