After 30 years of continuous decline, the number of pregnancy terminations increased by 8% between 2017 and 2020 in the United States, according to a report published on Wednesday June 15, while the right to abortion seems more threatened than ever.
This trend reversalpoints out that the need for abortion care is increasing in the United States, just as the Supreme Court seems ready to bury Roe v. wade» which guarantees since 1973 the right of American women to have an abortion, writes the Guttmacher Institute in this document. The high court must render a decision before the end of the month which could, according to a draft judgment revealed in May, send the United States back 50 years, when each state was free to prohibit terminations of pregnancy on its soil. .
14.4 abortions per thousand women
In the meantime, the Guttmacher Institute, which campaigns for access to contraception and abortion worldwide, has noted an upsurge in abortions in the country, the reasons for which seem difficult to explain at this stage. More than 930,000 abortions took place in 2020 in the United States against 860,000 in 2017, a rate of 14.4 abortions per thousand women of childbearing age against 13.5 three years earlier, according to its report. This corresponds to one in five pregnancies. The increase is noticeable in all regions of the country, with variations from one state to another and sometimes even within them.
Local reforms could explain these differences (the opening of new clinics in a State, or the reimbursement by the State of the costs for abortion…) but the global trend remains more complex to understand, according to the document. For thirty years, the number of abortions performed each year in the United States had fallen sharply – it was over 1.5 million until the early 1990s – thanks to progress in access to contraception.
The figures compiled every three years by the Guttmacher Institute from clinics performing abortions refer to the United States in the absence of complete official data. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does not have statistics from several highly populated states, such as California or Maryland, and only counted 630,000 abortions in 2019.