teen abortion rates plummet

interesting article in newsweek recently on “the changing face of abortion.” of particular note for youth workers:

Abortion rates have dropped steadily since the 1980s, from a peak of 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 1981 to 19.4 in 2005. But behind this general decrease are striking changes in the demographics of abortion. Compared to 30 years ago, women having abortions today are older and more likely to be mothers and minorities, according to a study released Tuesday by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute.

What researchers found is contrary to what pop culture phenoms, from “Juno” to Jamie Lynn Spears, might suggest: Teenagers are not the most likely to confront this issue, twenty-somethings are.

In fact, teens saw a bigger drop in abortion rate than any other demographic over the past 30 years. From 1974 to 1989, women aged 18-19 had the highest abortion rate among all age groups, varying from 32 to 62 per 1,000 women. In 2004, the latest year for which data is available, the abortion rate was 20.5.

But the news isn’t all good. While the teen abortion rate has declined by nearly 30 percent, the rate for women ages 20-24 is almost 10 points higher than it was in 1974. (In that group, rates hit 30.4 abortions per 1,000 women in 1974, spiking to 53.8 in 1989 and declining to 39.9 in 2004.)

The decline in abortion rates among teens mirrors a decline in teen pregnancies–from 107 for every 1,000 teenagers ages 15-19 in 1982, to 75 per 1,000 teenagers in 2002 (the most recent year for which data is available).

(ht to ypulse)

5 thoughts on “teen abortion rates plummet”

  1. ditto to what ed asked. i read a study that talked about some of that stuff about a month ago and it said that it’s mostly due to the significant rise in a ma pill’s use.

  2. it would be interesting to see a study that tracked the sexual activity, unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions in the same group. i’ve seen a lot of people credit the Bush administration for the decline in the abortion rate, but when considering the fact that unwanted pregnancies are down as well, I’m not so sure it’s so easy to credit Bush’s policies. Why are unwanted pregnancies are down? Are kids having less sex? Does the increased availability of contraceptives factor in?

    Interesting find, Marko. I hope you’re having a good time in Sactown.

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