In what would seem a no-brainer, a recent study shows that the abortion rate is down at the same time that the use of long-term, reversible contraception is up.
Earlier studies have shown that abortion follows from unintended pregnancies. They’ve also shown that the rate of unintended pregnancies goes down as the use of contraception goes up. The newest study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a 5% decline in abortions between 2008 and 2009, after some years of the rate holding steady. Previous research has demonstrated that hard economic times actually drive the abortion rate up, so the recession isn’t the cause of the current phenomenon. New state laws restricting abortion aren’t a factor either, as these weren’t in place until 2011.
Coincidentally, the use of long-term, reversible contraception such as the IUD (intrauterine device) and hormonal implants tripled from 2002 to 2009, with most of that increase coming in the last two years. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of users of these types of contraception jumped by 8.5%. The CDC is careful not to assume a causal link between this and the reduced abortion rate, but the link with decreased unintended pregnancies is clearly stated in the study’s conclusions. The connection between fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions can then be inferred: