World News and Trends: American abortion rate drops to 20-year low

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World News and Trends

American abortion rate drops to 20-year low

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Although the rate has decreased, the number of abortions remains staggeringly high, with 1.2 million performed in 1994 and 1.3 million in 1993. The number of abortions in the United States peaked at 1.4 million in 1990. Since abortions were legalized in 1973, more than 25 million fetuses have been aborted—more than the population of many countries.

For every 1,000 live births in 1994, 321 abortions were carried out. This was the lowest rate since 1976, when 312 abortions occurred for every 1,000 live births. The profile of women seeking abortions has not changed from earlier years: Most are single, white and less than 25 years old.

Opinions diverge on reasons for the drop in the rate and number of abortions. Some pro-abortion groups cite the increasing difficulty of getting abortions, better access to birth control and harassment from right-to-life organizations. Abortion foes, on the other hand, attribute the decreases to their education efforts directing women toward churches, pregnancy centers and other alternatives to abortion. (Source: Associated Press.) GN

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