The Corner

Culture

Celebrate the Lower Abortion Rate — But 826,320 Is Still Too Many

An anti-abortion demonstrator holds a placard during the March For Life, an anti-abortion protest in London, Britain, May 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls – RC14F771B3D0

According to a new report from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, there were an estimated 862,320 abortions performed in the U.S. in 2017. That’s a nearly 20-percent drop from 2011, when Guttmacher estimated that more than 1 million American women obtained an abortion.

Guttmacher’s new report also estimates that the abortion rate (abortions per 1,000 women) dropped from 16.9 in 2011 to to 13.5 in 2017. This report confirms what Centers for Disease Control data have long shown: Since the 1980s, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped steadily nearly every single year. (It’s worth noting that CDC data tend to lag behind Guttmacher; it has only released U.S. abortion statistics through 2015. Also, the CDC obtains its statistics by gathering abortion data from states, and it isn’t mandatory that states report their data. Several states don’t, so the CDC’s reports likely are less accurate than Guttmacher’s estimates.)

The Guttmacher report suggests that the decline in the abortion rate is “related to declines in births and pregnancies overall” and notes that abortion restrictions might also have played a role. Some suggest that more widespread access to contraception has decreased the level of unintended pregnancy, resulting in fewer abortions, but data also show that a higher percentage of women with unintended pregnancies choose to carry them to term, so birth-control access doesn’t tell the whole story.

It is worth celebrating that the number of abortions in the U.S. seems to have dropped once again. But with abortion statistics come the risk that we view these numbers as mere data and forget that each of those 826,320 abortion procedures ended a human life. Another decline in the abortion rate is a small win, but it’s far from enough.

Most Popular

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More

Stalin, Famine, and the New York Times

‘The world is being invaded by monsters, but I suppose you don’t want to hear about that,” Both clauses of that sentence are devastatingly true: The reference is equally to the horrors of the Soviet Union’s mass murders -- and to the West’s determination to turn its back to the monstrosity. The speaker ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More
Elections

‘Slipping and Sliding down the Polls’

This is an excerpt from episode 233 of The Editors. Rich: So Jim Geraghty, I have the RealClearPolitics Biden versus Trump polling page up right here. I’m just going to read you some numbers going back to . . . This is a CNBC poll from the 10th and 12th of June. And I’m just going to run through to the ... Read More
Elections

The Strategies of Dementia Politics

Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity. I say “pretext” without apology. Quarantine ... Read More
Elections

The Strategies of Dementia Politics

Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity. I say “pretext” without apology. Quarantine ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More

The Year of Stupid

It turned out that the novel coronavirus was only the second-most-infectious disease to spread through the U.S. this year. Satan’s Cupcake has, after all, been diagnosed in less than 1 percent of Americans. The not-so-novel imbecility virus is, on the other hand, ravaging the minds of everyone from news ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Right to Choose What, Joe?

Joe Biden would like us to believe that Roe v. Wade is in peril. Nothing so energizes the abortion-advocacy wing of the Democratic Party (also known these days simply as the Democratic Party) like a press release or two gesticulating wildly about being the underdog. In reality, of course, the U.S. proudly ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Right to Choose What, Joe?

Joe Biden would like us to believe that Roe v. Wade is in peril. Nothing so energizes the abortion-advocacy wing of the Democratic Party (also known these days simply as the Democratic Party) like a press release or two gesticulating wildly about being the underdog. In reality, of course, the U.S. proudly ... Read More