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Number of abortions in US declines to lowest level since 2006

The number of abortions in the United States dropped sharply from 2006 to 2015, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The government data show that the number of abortions dropped 24 percent to 638,169 over that nine-year period.

The rate of abortions also declined, from 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 to 11.8 abortions for the same amount of women in that age group in 2015.

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“Unintended pregnancy is the major contributor to induced abortion,” the report states. “Increasing access to and use of effective contraception can reduce unintended pregnancies and further reduce the number of abortions performed in the United States.”

The declining numbers come as the divisive issue is back in the spotlight. Democrats have warned that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE’s latest appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughBarrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice by Thomas GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg Clarence Thomas set to swear in Barrett at White House MORE, could provide the fifth vote needed to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban or heavily restrict abortions.

Several states are already testing the limits of what the courts will allow.

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. That ruling may be appealed.

The CDC said there are limitations to its most recent set of data. For example, reporting is voluntary, and figures from California, Maryland and New Hampshire are not included in the overall numbers.