By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A new report released this week from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that the abortion rate fell by more than one-third between 1990 and 2005.
The new CDC National Vital Statistics Report shows an estimated 6,408,000 pregnancies in the U.S. in 2005, the lowest since the agency began tracking pregnancy numbers in 1976. This number includes 4.14 million live births, 1.21 million induced abortions and 1.06 million miscarriages or other losses.
This number represents a decline in the pregnancy rate from 115.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 1990, to 103.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 2005. Women in their 20s had the highest pregnancy rates from 1990 to 2005, with pregnancy rates dropping by eight percent for married women and 11 percent for unmarried women during the same time period.
Pregnancy rates for teens also fell by 40 percent from 1990-2005, to 70.6 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19 years, the lowest number reported since 1976. There were also steep declines in the teen abortion rate (down 53 percent) compared with live births (down 32 percent).
The best news came in the area of overall abortion rates. According to the latest statistics, seven out of 1,000 pregnant women got an abortion in 2005, down from 11 per 1,000 pregnant women in 1990. Among unmarried women, 31 per 1,000 pregnant women had abortions in 2005, compared to 48 per 1,000 women in 1990.
Abortion rates peaked at 29.3 percent in 1981 but began falling dramatically in 1990. CDC statistics show that women between the ages of 20-24 have the highest abortion rate followed by women between 18-19 and then women between 25-29 years of age.
Unmarried women continue to have much higher abortion rates compared to married women. Unmarried women have abortions at a rate of 17.2 per 1,000 while married white women have only four per 1,000.
The report found that Black and Hispanic women continue to have much higher abortion rates compared to their white counterparts. Black unmarried women have an abortion rate of 62 per 1,000 with married women having 18.8 per 1,000 women.
Unmarried Hispanics have abortions at the rate 45.5 for unmarried women and 9.3 for married women.
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