Abortions have fallen by 20 percent in the United States between 2008 and 2011, according to the most respected provider of such statistics. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Some 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011, down from 1.21 million in 2008, according to data collected by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that supports abortion rights but produces data cited by both sides of the abortion debate. Those figures represent a continued decrease from higher numbers of the 1980s and 1990s to bring the total to its lowest point since 1975.The ratio of the procedure also declined, to 21 per 100 pregnancies, from 23 per 100 in 2008, the last year for which research had been released.
Interestingly, the decline does not appear to be concentrated in states where tough new laws have made abortions harder to get in some cases but rather reflects a national trend. What is also interesting is that the turndown happened during a severe recession—a time when one would expect more people would be tempted to terminate inconvenient pregnancies.This is one of the most interesting and important trends in the United States today: Even as the social consensus moves toward permissive stances on issues ranging from gay marriage to pot, the public is increasingly queasy about abortion. Polls continue to drift away from pro-choice orthodoxy, states continue to test the limits of Roe, and, most important, young women seem to be deciding in fairly significant numbers that this is something they just don’t want to do.