Health

Abortion Rate In US Hits Lowest Ever- CDC Report Says

The history of abortion laws in the United States is long and complicated. It’s been more than 200 years and still, it’s a bone of contention. For now, abortion has never received appreciation and acceptance as a universal protection since 1973.

American women have this legal right to opt an abortion in almost all US states, in all nine months of pregnancy. They don’t even need an explanation to undergo an abortion. It naturally gives a thought that women must have been taking this freedom and abortive rate would be highest of all times right now. The actual picture is somewhat different.

American women are reporting minimum abortions than ever before these days. This number is decreased by 2% annually and a total number of 24 years in the course of last decade.

In all these years, following the famous 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, it is a constitutional right to access a safe abortion. Right after this landmark judgment, the numbers of abortions were increased drastically. But the reported abortions reached their highest point in the 1980s. After this time, this abortion rate is gradually lowering.

What does this report tell?

The year 2015 was the last year in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled a report on abortion rates in the USA. It has found that approximately 638,000 abortions are reported. This shows a major shift from more than 842,000 in the year 2006, almost a decade ago.

A graph showing number, rate and a ratio of abortions performed annually in the USA

Source:  Abortion Surveillance-United States, 2015 (CDC’s website)

This report is interesting in a way that it indicates abortion number, rate, and ratio to lower down in all race/ethnicity groups. However, let’s not forget the unreported cases that never make to these reports and studies.

As per this last report, white women had the lowest number of abortions that is 6.8 per 1,000 women and black women had the highest rate of abortions that makes 25.1 per 1,000. It shows that abortive trends somehow follow the ethnicities too.

The age group of maximum women undergoing abortions are usually in their 20s and it makes roughly 1/3rd of all reported abortions. But the last ten years report also showed that the abortions were least in this age range.

 A graph showing the percentage of total abortions, abortion rate, and abortion ratio, by age group of women 

Source:  Abortion Surveillance-United States, 2015 (CDC’s website)

All this information highlight that maternal age difference contributes to the abortion trends. The high abortive trends are common among women in their 20s and also these women contribute substantially overall. The abortion rate was approximately 18% among women between the ages of 30 and 40 and 10% in teenagers.

More than two-third reported abortions took place at less than eight week’s gestation time. One-quarter of these were medical abortions i.e. taking the abortion pill for inducing it. Rest of them were performed surgically. The report is unclear about complications or death rate among women undergoing abortions. For future CDC may soon release a detailed analysis of abortive rate statistics.

 

Areeba Hussain

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. She is an author of six research papers and currently working as a research associate in a Research Lab.

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