Drop in US abortion rate among young women attributed to contraception
The study, by the the US National Center for Health Statistics, shows that both abortion and pregnancy rates have fallen amongst 20-something women, and attributes the improvement, in part, to increased contraception use.
Between 1990 and 2008, pregnancy rates for women in their early 20s fell by 18 percent, with abortion rates for the same group falling by 32 percent. There was also a drop in pregnancy and abortion rates for women in their late 20s, albeit small.
The provision of birth control remains a controversial issue in the US, where the Obama administration’s mandate that all employers must include contraception coverage in employee healthcare plans has been opposed by Catholic bishops and political conservatives.
According to the New York Times, 63 percent of Americans support the mandate.
The report also emphasises recent findings that show “an increase in the proportion of teenagers who use a method of contraception” but “a steady, long-term decline in the proportion of teenagers who are sexually experienced”.
This directly contradicts claims by proponents of abstinence-only sex education that educating teens about sex and contraception necessarily leads to immediate sexual activity.