The overall abortion rate in the United States continues to sink lower than ever, according to a report released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For every 1,000 U.S. women, there were about 12 abortions in 2015, the most recent year analysed by the CDC. That rate fell by 2% compared to 2014 and is the lowest reported annual rate since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. The CDC counted 188 babies aborted for every 1,000 live births for an annual total of 638,169 abortions. “This should give pro-lifers some encouragement to continue their lifesaving work,” Michael New, an associate scholar at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute said.
While the decline gives pro-lifers a reason to celebrate, it only applies to surgical abortions, in which an abortionist physically removes a baby from the womb. So-called medical abortions, in which the mother takes a pill that causes a miscarriage, increased from 123,254 in 2014 to 142,094 in 2015. The number of drug-induced abortions has risen by 75% in the last 10 years, in 2006, there were only 81,430.
Abby Johnson, a former abortion worker and the head of the pro-life group And Then There Were None, sounded an alarm about the increased use of abortion drugs such as RU-486, or mifepristone. “I was careful to steer women away from this drug when I worked at Planned Parenthood because of the debilitating pain it put women through,” Johnson said. Despite that, the Food and Drug Administration in 2016 relaxed restrictions on abortion pills by lowering the required dose, dropping the number of required in-person visits from three to two, and allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe them. The number of medication abortions reported to the CDC will likely soar when 2016 numbers come out next year. California, Maryland, and New Hampshire do not participate in the CDC’s data collection, so the numbers are much higher in reality.
The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute estimated 157,350 babies were aborted in California in 2014. Even fewer states report the breakdown between drug-induced and surgical abortions. “It’s always good news when abortions decline, but these numbers are hard to take seriously when the state that performs the most abortions is not included in the report,” Johnson said of California’s numbers. “There is also no record of the many complications of abortion that women experience, likely because those instances are shoved under the mat in many abortion clinics.”
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