The US now has a higher abortion rate than in most other countries in the world, according to a new study that found women in the country have more abortions than their male counterparts.
In 2016, abortions were performed in the US at 5.8 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, compared to 4.6 per 1.5 million in Germany, 2.7 per 1 million in Spain, 1.9 per 1 billion in Israel, and 0.7 in France.
The report by the Guttmacher Institute and the University of California San Francisco looked at the overall US abortion rate over the last 10 years.
The number of abortions performed per 1 000 women aged 16-44 rose from 3.3 in 2012 to 5.1 in 2017, the study found.
The rate of abortions in women aged 20-24 increased from 4.7 to 5 per 1 1 000 in 2017.
Women aged 25-34, however, saw their abortion rate decline by 3 per 1 0 000.
The US abortion rates in 2018 are among the lowest in the industrialized world, the report found.
It noted that the number of live births per 1 734,000 US births rose from 8.8 in 2016 to 10.1 by 2017, and the number in labour induced abortions (LBIs) rose from 9.3 to 12.9.
The Guttman Institute, a non-profit research organisation that researches and advocates for reproductive rights, found the abortion rate in 2018 was at its lowest level in four decades, and was more than 50% lower than the rates in 1988 and 1991.
“We’ve seen an explosion in the number and number of women having abortions in recent decades,” said Guttmann Institute associate director and senior research scientist Susan Guttormson.
“And we’ve seen a sharp increase in the use of late-term abortion, which is when a pregnancy terminates more than 12 weeks before the expected date of birth.”
Guttmorons report also highlighted the role of family planning in the abortion rates, with more than half of women who had abortions in 2018 using contraception, while a quarter of women reported that their abortion was the result of “medical or social factors”.
The number and rates of women using condoms increased in 2018, but the report noted that women were also using “some other forms of contraception, including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and diaphragms”.
The GUTT study did not look at other factors that could explain the higher abortion rates.
“This study does not answer the question, ‘What factors are behind the higher numbers of abortions and pregnancies?'”
Guttms report said.
“What may be causing these differences is the combination of a lack of resources and a lack for knowledge about the health and reproductive health implications of the procedures and the methods.”
It noted the increase in abortion in recent years has been driven by “women using new methods of contraception and abortion”.
The study also found women who were using the Pill and the abortion pill, or in which a third of women used either, had a higher proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion compared to women who did not use any form of contraception.
The findings come as abortion rights groups have warned that US state governments are under pressure to close abortion clinics and restrict access to abortion in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the Roe v Wade case that legalized abortion in all but a few states.
“It is the highest rate of abortion in US history,” Guttmans report said, noting that the US had seen the highest abortion rate of any developed country in the 1950s.
It also noted that there were 1.2 million abortions per 1 5,000 live births in 2018 in the nation.
Abortion rights groups had long said that the abortion rights movement has been “blocked” in the states by anti-abortion laws.
The 2016 US Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood v Casey meant that abortion rights were finally being protected in the 28 states that were not represented by the high court.
“These laws have been upheld by the courts, and they’ve helped women in a number of states have access to safe and legal abortion,” Gettman said.
The 2017 report found that the percentage of abortions that occurred in states with strict laws increased from 0.5% in 2012, to 2.9% in 2017 and 2.8% in 2018.
Abortion advocates also argued that a high percentage of women in states that are currently on the federal list of states that offer abortion restrictions were not accessing abortions, and had not been seeking them out.
The Supreme Court said states can’t impose bans on abortion if they are able to show that they are protecting women’s health and safety, but only if they also have the right to impose restrictions.
“States can’t make it harder to