The 2008–2011 U.S. abortion decline was not due to abortion restrictions

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  • According to an article by the Guttmacher Institute[1]:
    • "The mechanism by which restrictions would lead to fewer abortions is to force or otherwise compel women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. If that were the case, one would expect to see":
      • "Fewer women who experience an unintended pregnancy having abortions."
        • According to Guttmacher Institute research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2016, the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion did not decline between 2008 and 2011, but stayed relatively stable at 40–42%
      • "Increase in births, and in unplanned births in particular."
        • "Likewise, the rate of unplanned births dropped by almost one-fifth, from 27 to 22 unplanned births per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15–44).6 Unplanned birth rates declined notably among the groups of women who experience the highest rates of abortion: blacks and Hispanics, and those who are low income, cohabiting, have low educational attainment or are in their 20s."
    • "Comprehensive data on adult sexual activity for the 2008–2011 period are not yet available. But among women aged 15–44, various indicators of sexual behavior—such as ever having had sex with a male partner and the number of male sexual partners within the last 12 months—were similar in 2006–2008 compared with 2002.[2] Also, levels of teen sexual activity did not change during 2008–2011.[3]"
    • "Another possible explanation is a shift in the population toward groups that are at lower risk of unintended pregnancy. However, the opposite happened during 2008–2011: The proportion of U.S. women in groups with historically higher rates of unintended pregnancy, such as poor and Hispanic women, increased.[4][5] In other words, the overall decline in unintended pregnancy rates happened despite—not because of—these population changes, which makes such significant declines over a short period even more notable."
    • "As a third possible explanation, the authors noted a slightly greater desire for pregnancy, possibly a consequence of the U.S. economy improving after the 2007–2009 recession. However, the authors[6] believe this increase in the intended pregnancy rate only made a small contribution to the unintended pregnancy decline, given that this increase was small compared with the decline in the unintended pregnancy rate."

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  • TBD

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