A report released by the Centers for Disease Control Friday reveals that abortion rates are at an all-time low for first time since the enactment of Roe vs. Wade
Although 730,322 babies were aborted in 2011, the CDC has produced figures for 2014 that represent a decline of over 1.5 million in the late 1980s, when the legalization abortion in 1973 took full effect.
According to the report, the U.S. abortion rate has declined to 18 percent annually. However, it also noted that teenagers aged 14 to 19 accounted for over 86,000 of the more than 730,000 abortions performed in 2011.
The numbers for the CDC report came from data provided voluntarily from 49 "reporting areas," which included 47 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia. California, Maryland and New Hampshire did not provide data for 2011.
According to the CDC, among the women who had the 730,322 abortions that year, 85.5 percent were unmarried, and 58 percent were in their 20s.
Other findings from the report show that black women had the majority of abortions in 2011, at 30.7 percent, or 474 abortions for every 1,000 live births; 85.5 percent of abortions were performed on single women versus 14.5 percent performed on married women; and 91.4 percent of chemical and surgical abortions were performed at or before 13 weeks' gestation.
The CDC also indicates 10 women died in 2011 as a result of legal abortion.
"Deaths of women associated with complications from abortions for 2011 are being investigated as part of CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2010, the most recent year for which data were available, 10 women were identified to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions. No reported deaths were associated with known illegal induced abortions," it said.
However, according to the pro-life group Life Dynamics, over 340 women have died in the U.S. from known complications following their abortions since the procedure became legal.
"From 2010 to 2011, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 5 percent and the abortion ratio decreased 4 percent, and from 2002 to 2011," read the report. "... [T]he total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 13 percent, 14 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. In 2011, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002-2011)."
Karen Pazol of the CDC, lead author of the report, contraception is the primary means of reducing abortion: "Because unintended pregnancies are rare among women who use the most effective methods of contraception, increasing access to and use of these methods can help further reduce the number of abortions performed in the United States," she writes.
"The data in this report can help program planners and policy makers identify groups of women at greatest risk for unintended pregnancy and help guide and evaluate prevention efforts," the report argues.