The U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Drop: Once Again, State Abortion Restrictions Are Not the Main Driver

In Healthcare On
- Updated

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Abortion restrictions were not the main driver of the decline in the U.S. abortion rate between 2011 and 2017. Rather, the decline in abortions appears to be related to declines in births and pregnancies overall. There are a number of potential explanations for this broad decline, some more plausible than others.
  • Still, abortion restrictions, particularly those imposing unnecessary, intentionally burdensome regulations on providers, played a role in shutting down abortion clinics in some states and thereby reducing access to abortion.
  • Understanding the factors driving the decline in the abortion rate has important policy implications. However, attempts to reduce abortion through coercive restrictions are a direct violation of individuals’ dignity, bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom.

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