The abortion rate in the U.S.
has been in steady decline since the 1990s – and both proponents of abortion and anti-abortion activists credit this to the passing of laws restricting women’s access to the procedure, according to reporting by Reuters.
Since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade made abortion a constitutional right in 1973, more and more states have passed laws that restrict abortion access. Some of these laws have been struck down by the Supreme Court, like the Louisiana state law trying to restrict abortions to doctors affiliated with hospitals. Others, like the Ohio state law forbidding abortions after around six weeks when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, still stand.
Like in the case of the Louisiana law, state restrictions often target the availability of abortions, especially in more rural areas. The law was overturned by a 5-4 Supreme Court vote Thursday. Conservative justice John Roberts joined liberal judges to swing the vote while conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote a scathing dissent signaling his willingness to overturn important precedents on women’s right to abortion.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, which publish U.S. abortion rates, it was predominantly teenagers 15-19 years old who were having less abortions. The group having most abortions is still women in their 20s. Roughly 60 percent of women getting an abortion have had a child before. Two thirds of abortions were performed at eight weeks of gestation or earlier.