Abortion rates in the United States have been falling steadily for decades, long before restrictive statutes began to make the procedure difficult to obtain in some areas. Experts say access to better birth control is one of the main reasons.
Abortions in the U.S. peaked in 1981, at a rate of 29.3 per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since then, the number has fallen by three-fifths. In 2019, the last year for which numbers are available, the rate was 11.4.
The decline has been seen in almost all states, regardless of whether abortion access was restricted, according to research by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.