A report by the Guttmacher Institute has found that the abortion rate in the United States has hit a new historic low point. Researchers explain that this drop in abortions is credited to improvements in contraceptive use but, analysts also point out that abortion restrictions may also be causing the decline in abortions in America.
Analysts reported that for first time in over 40 years, the number of abortions have dropped under one million. In fact, the number of abortions have decreased by 14% since 2011.
Guttmacher Institute did not report why there was a decrease in abortions, they assume increased contraceptive use was a major factor. However, researchers also assert that abortion restrictions passed by states governments over the past five years could have contributed to the 14% decrease in abortions.
Rachel Jones, the lead author of the study explained that fewer abortion clinics have forced many pregnant women to travel long distances to find a physician able to complete the medical procedure. In turn, many low-income individuals are unable to afford it.
“The majority of abortion patients—75%—are poor or low-income, and nearly two-thirds are already parents,” Jones explained in a statement.
“It can be very difficult for them to arrange for time off from work, transportation and child care. While many find ways to access care despite these obstacles, some of the abortion rate decline is likely attributable to women who were prevented from accessing needed services,” Jones added.
Hours after this report was released a new bill was introduced that would allow for women to sue doctors who perform their abortions. Lawmakers in Iowa are contemplating a bill that would allow for a woman to sue a physician at any point in her lifetime, if she experiences emotional distress following an abortion, the Associated Press reports.
Sen. Mark Chelgren (R) introduced the bill argued that clinics who profit off of the procedure should be held “accountable”.
“That’s all this does. It protects women from people who would normally be trying to sell them something in a time when they are under the most stress that is kind of imaginable,” Chelgren explained.