US abortion rate falls to lowest level in decades

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to their lowest level in decades, according to new data released Wednesday.

The latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incorporating data from 47 states, said the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. That’s half the rate recorded in 1980.

The last time the CDC recorded a lower rate was 1971, two years before a Supreme Court ruling extending abortion rights nationwide.

The CDC tallied 664,435 abortions in 2013 from the 47 states, down 20 percent from 2004. The CDC doesn’t receive abortion data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire; thus its total is less than the current estimate of more than 900,000 abortions annually in all states.

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