U.S. Abortion Rate Drops to Lowest in Decades

The number of abortions in the United States in 2014 was the lowest since 1974, a new study says.

There were 926,200 abortions in 2014, a 12.5 percent drop from 1.06 million abortions in 2011, according to the study released Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, the Associated Press reported.

Only six states had increases in abortions between 2011 and 2014.

Nationwide, the abortion rate in 2014 was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, the lowest rate since abortion was legalized in the U.S. in 1973. Abortions reached a peak of 1.6 million in 1990 and there has been a decrease since then, the AP reported.

The highest abortion rates in 2014 were in the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida, and the lowest rates were in Wyoming, Mississippi and South Dakota. Those states had only one abortion clinic operating in 2014.

The study also said there was a 6 percent decline in the number of abortion clinics nationwide, from 839 in 2011 to 788 in 2014, the AP reported.

The study authors said two main factors likely drove the decline in abortions nationwide in recent years -- increased availability of affordable, long-lasting contraceptives and tighter abortion restrictions in many states.

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