NEW YORK â€” The U.S. abortion rate dropped significantly during the second half of the 1990s, particularly among teenagers, according to a new survey. Experts attribute the decline to better awareness of contraception and a fear of disease that has cut down on sexual activity.
For every 1,000 women of childbearing age, the number who had abortions fell from 24 in 1994 to 21 in 2000, an 11 percent decline.
Among girls ages 15 to 17, the decline was even more dramatic â€” from 24 to 15 abortions per 1,000, a 39 percent drop. The survey was released yesterday by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research center in New York.
U.S. abortion rates have been declining for more than a decade, while birth rates also have been falling, except for women over 29. There was, however, a sharp increase in abortions among lower-income women.