Abortion Rate Is Falling Because Fewer Women Are Getting Pregnant (article)

Abortion Rate Is Falling Because Fewer Women Are Getting Pregnant

This is a very long article. I will only copy part of it to this post.

(Link): Abortion Rate Is Falling Because Fewer Women Are Getting Pregnant

  • June 12, 2015
  • …But there’s a final explanation: So many women are able to successfully avoid pregnancy at least partly because of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, which took effect in 2012 and minimizes the up-front costs for highly effective, long-lasting forms of birth control such as the intrauterine device (IUD) or hormonal implant.
  • The number of women using the most effective forms of birth control jumped to a high of 12 percent by the end of last year. New research shows that women who live in states with less abortion access are more likely than women who don’t to use a contraceptive like the IUD.
  • “There’s been a push to expand the IUD and implant to women who were using contraception ineffectively in the past because long-acting birth control had big up-front costs, and they couldn’t afford it,” Ananat said. Because women who use contraception incorrectly or inconsistently account for 41 percent of unintended pregnancies, even a small shift to highly effective methods of contraception could have a disproportionate effect on the abortion rate.

    What the data shows, according to Ananat, is a kind of perfect storm. “The teen pregnancy rate has been declining for a while now, and we can’t say that’s the driving force, but it’s contributing,” she said.

  • “And then you have the combination of the recession, which makes people less willing to have children, and the Affordable Care Act, which gives women better access to contraception at a time when they really want it. So you end up with a situation where there’s less of a need for abortion just because fewer women are getting pregnant.”

    The question, for her, is whether new abortion laws are affecting when women are getting the procedure.

  • Over the past decade, more and more women have opted for abortions early in their pregnancies, but as states place more barriers in their way, that trend could shift. If women have to jump through more hoops — travel to faraway clinics or encounter waiting periods that require overnight stays — they might delay the procedure until they can raise enough money or take time off work.
  • “We know that restrictive policies don’t deter most women from getting abortions, but it can delay them,” Ananat says. “The idea that women’s attitudes toward abortion are changing, though — we just don’t have evidence for that.”
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