Reports released in early January by both the Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control show abortion numbers, rates, and ratios falling to their lowest since the Roe v. Wade ruling legalized abortion on demand. Guttmacher numbers are more widely accepted because it reports on numbers for all 50 states. Numbers from both Guttmacher and the CDC include RU 486 medical abortions, which account for roughly 25 percent of all abortions.
In its 2014 report, Guttmacher reported the number of abortions in the U.S. had dropped to 926,190 from an all-time high of 1.6 million. This figure was the lowest number in 30 years and the first time the total has dropped below one million abortions in a year since 1975. The report showed the abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44) at 14.6. That rate had been 29.3 in 1981 and as high as 21.3 in 2000. The abortion ratio (number of abortions per pregnancies ending in abortion or live birth) fell to 18.8. This is lower than in 1973 and significantly less than in 1983 when the ratio was 30.4 and nearly one-third of all pregnancies were aborted.
National Right to Life’s Randall O’Bannon says, “Guttmacher credits a number of factors — increased contraceptive use, limits on abortions at the state level, etc., which may have played a role — but one element that may not be getting its due is the increasing sense among Americans that abortion is not a real solution for mothers, for their babies, or for society in general.”