The rate of abortions per 1,000 women in America has fallen from 29 in 1980 to about 15 as of 2014, according to a report released Friday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
In the analysis first reported by The Associated Press, NASEM found that the abortion rate has dropped steadily over the last few decades, with the change in number being credited to a combination of availability of contraceptives, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions on abortions.
The report also found that abortions are increasingly being performed earlier in the pregnancy, when the procedure is safer. Ninety percent of abortions now happen within the first 12 weeks, according to the report, and the majority of procedures are undertaken by low-income women.
Some state restrictions, however, were found by the report to have an adverse effect on the quality of patients' care.
“Clearly some of the regulations are having a real impact on quality,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, a public health specialist and president of Chicago Community Trust, who worked on the report.
State restrictions are also having a major effect on the availability of the procedure in some states, the report finds. It specifically noted Mississippi, which has just one clinic, and noted that 17 percent of women in the United States would have to travel more than 50 miles to obtain the procedure.
The Trump administration has openly opposed abortion and shown support for anti-abortion causes. President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE addressed the anti-abortion March for Life via satellite in January, and Vice President Pence was quoted recently as saying he predicts abortion as a practice will end "in our time."
"I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America," Pence said at a luncheon in Nashville, Tenn., last month.