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US Abortions Fall 5 Percent, Biggest Drop in a Decade

U.S. abortions fell 5 percent during the Great Recession in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade.
NEW YORK - U.S. abortions fell 5 percent during the Great Recession in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, according to government figures released Wednesday.

The reason for the decline wasn't clear, but some experts said it may be due to better use of birth control during tough economic times. Their theory is that some women believe they can't afford to get pregnant.

"They stick to straight and narrow ... and they are more careful about birth control," said Elizabeth Ananat, a Duke University assistant professor of public policy and economics who has researched abortions.

While many states have aggressively restricted access to abortion, most of those laws were adopted in the past two years and are not believed to have played a role in the decline.

Abortions have been dropping slightly over much of the past decade. But before this latest report, they seemed to have leveled off.

The new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that both the number and rate of abortions fell 5 percent in 2009, the most recent statistics available from most states.

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