The U.S. abortion rate has reached a historic low, data released by the federal government last week shows.
The abortion rate fell by 2 percent from 2013 to 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found, continuing a decadeslong decline. Since 2005, the abortion rate has fallen by 22 percent.
The study attributed the declining abortion rate to the closure of abortion clinics, more effective contraceptive practices and an overall drop in birth rates.
“Providing women and men with the knowledge and resources necessary to make decisions about their sexual behavior and use of contraception can help them avoid unintended pregnancies,” the authors of the report wrote.
There were a total of 652,639 abortions reported to the CDC in 2014. Of those, 67.0 percent took place within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, 24.5 percent from 8 to 13 weeks’ gestation, 7.2 percent from 14 to 20 weeks’ gestation and 1.3 percent after 21 weeks’ gestation.
A majority of women seeking abortions, 58.9 percent, were in their 20s. Women in their 30s reported 26.8 percent of all abortions, and women older than 40 accounted for 3.6 percent. Adolescents younger than 15 accounted for 0.3 percent of all reported abortions, while those between the ages of 15 and 19 accounted for 10.4 percent.
From 2013 to 2014, the abortion rate among women over the age of 40 increased by 4 percent―the only age cohort that experienced an uptick. Since 2005, the abortion rate among all age groups has declined dramatically.
Only 14.5 percent of women who obtained an abortion were married, the report found, while unmarried women accounted for 85.5 percent of all procedures.