Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of Susan B. Anthony List, which opposes abortion, added other possible causes: “a higher percentage of women today decide to carry an unexpected pregnancy to term, teenagers are less sexually active and with fewer partners, pro-life views are more prevalent among the rising generation than they were 40 years ago.”
He called the decline “sharp and consistent” and pointed out that the U.S. abortion rate is half of what it was in 1980.
While the abortion rate decreased across all age groups in 2015, women in their 20s accounted for nearly 60 percent of all abortions. The abortion rate was 19.9 for women ages 20-24 and 17.9 for ages 25-29.
White women had the lowest abortion rate, at 6.8 abortions per 1,000 women, and black women had the highest abortion rate at 25.1 per 1,000. “The findings in this report indicate that the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions have declined across all race/ethnicity groups but that well-documented disparities persist,” Tara C. Jatlaoui, from the CDC’s division of reproductive health, and co-authors wrote.
There was also considerable variation among jurisdictions, from a rate of 2.8 abortions in South Dakota to 23.1 abortions in New York.
One major source of controversy in recent years has been the widespread availability of medical abortions or pills such as RU-486 that can be taken to induce abortion without surgical intervention. In 2015, about a quarter of all abortions involved medical abortion, which can be done only early in a pregnancy.