Lifestyle & Belief

Abortion rates in US fall most in a decade, as teen pregnancies decline

Abortion rates in the US fell by 5 percent, the biggest single-year decrease in a decade, with teen pregnancies notably on the decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

A total of 784,507 abortions were reported in 2009, Bloomberg cited a CDC report as saying, with a ratio of 227 abortions for every 1,000 live births.

Teenage pregnancies plunged, with the lowest-ever teen birth rate in 2010 and an even steeper decrease in teen abortions, the report authors said. 

Meanwhile, the data showed more women were having abortions early in gestation, at less than eight weeks, when the risks for complications were lowest. 

According to the LA Times, Mississippi had the lowest abortion rate — at 4 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age — while New York had the highest, with eight times that number. 

The Times noted that Mississippi also had only a couple of abortion providers and also the nation's highest teen birthrate, while New York was second to California in number of abortion providers.

About 18 percent of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion, the CDC noted in its report, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The Washington Post canvassed a number of possible reasons why abortion rates are falling, including new abortion restrictions introduced in 2011, to tough economic times and use of long acting contraceptives.

After ruling out the first two theories, settled on a correlation between the abortion rate dropping and use of more effective contraceptives.

More from GlobalPost: Teen pregnancy rates in US drop to 40-year low, study shows