According to the Guttmacher Institute
, the U.S. abortion rate
has fallen to levels experienced before the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973. The court case that legalized abortions in the U.S. led to a rise of their rate in the years following, but pushback in recent years has led to states passing restrictive laws, which again limited the availability of the procedure
. Guttmacher said that improved methods of contraception and individuals turning to self-managed abortions when none were available in their area were other factors contributing to the decline.
The recently released research suggests that the abortion rate first fell below 1973 levels in 2012, and has since fallen more, reaching 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 14 to 55 in 2017. The institute also found
that the number of abortion providers in the U.S. actually rose by 2 percent between 2014 and 2017. Yet, this translated to an increase of facilities in the Northeastern and Western United States, while the number of clinics in the South and Midwest decreased.