Sandhya Somashekhar reports for the Washington Post on a Guttmacher Institute study that finds that the US abortion rate has hit its lowest level since Roe. Neither the reporter nor Guttmacher seem to be happy about the trend.
The study did not examine the reasons for the drop. But the authors suggested that one factor was greater reliance on new kinds of birth control, including intra-uterine devices such as Mirena, which can last for years and are not susceptible to user error like daily pills or condoms.
They also noted the economy as a contributing factor, because people tend to adhere more strictly to their birth control during tough economic times. But they did not credit the recent wave of state laws restricting access to abortion, because most of those took effect in 2011 or later.
Those restrictions will surely have an impact on the numbers going forward, said Rachel K. Jones, a senior researcher at Guttmacher and lead researcher on the paper.
“If the abortion rate continues to drop, we can’t assume it’s all due to positive factors” such as better adherence to contraceptives, she said, calling the laws passed in 22 states “onerous.”
“Safe, legal, and rare” is the left’s mantra on abortion. But do they mean anything by using two of those three words? If they do, anything that raises clinic standards and reduces the overall rate should be a positive thing, right?
The “onerous” restrictions include banning abortion after viability and raising standards at abortion clinics. Most Americans support those “onerous” restrictions. The Gosnell trial, which the Washington Post mostly avoided covering even though it took place just a couple hours’ drive north of the Post’s HQ, in Pennsylvania, revealed that substandard practices and facilities endanger women’s health. That case inspired some of the “onerous” restrictions on a practice that the left concedes should be both safe and rare. Yet the left opposes those restrictions and some activists even chanted “Hail Satan” while opposing them in Texas last year. The left made a star of the politician who opposed those restrictions, which were written by women in the Texas House and Senate, and which were intended to make abortions in the state safer and rarer.