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Abortions Are Down 4% From Previous Year To Reach Historic Low, CDC

Update Date: Nov 27, 2015 05:00 PM EST

The least number of abortions were performed in the US in 2012. It was a "historic low" that has followed a 25-year-long gradual decline, says a Centers for Disease Control report.

In 2012, about 699,000 abortions were reported to the CDC. This showed a 4 percent drop from the previous year, or about 31,000 less abortions.The rates show a decline to about 5 percent, with 13 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years, just half of the 1974 rates, when the Supreme Court issued a national right for abortions, reports the Associated Press.

"From 2003 to 2012, the total number, rate and ratio of reported abortions decreased 17 percent, 18 percent and 14 percent, respectively, and reached their lowest level in 2012 for the entire period of analysis," the CDC said.

The decline could be due to better use of birth control as well as a "sluggish recovery" from the economic recession. Many others indicate that there has been a cultural shift, with more women preferring to get rather than abort the baby.

While most of the abortions were conducted within the gestation of eight weeks, almost 91.4 percent were performed by 13 weeks. About 9,000 babies were aborted at or after 21 weeks. The earliest time that a baby can live outside the womb is 22 weeks. Most of the states have prohibited abortions at about 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy, says The New York Times.

"Women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions and had the highest abortion rates," the CDC said, while "women in their 30s and older accounted for a much smaller percentage of abortions and had lower abortion rates."

However, even the CDC data is not totally accurate, for it is based only on reports from health departments in 47 states. Three states---California, Maryland and New Hampshire---have not reported abortions, while the data from Wyoming is not complete.

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