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Reported Abortion Decline Not Correlated to Abortion Restrictions

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A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, published in January, indicates that from 2011 to 2014 there was no clear correlation between the decline in recorded abortions and new abortion restrictions.

During this time there was a 14% drop in recorded abortions, but with over 60% of the decline taking place in states with no new restrictions. Only 8 out of 19 states had new restrictions during this period.

|Decline in abortions|Increase in abortions
New Restrictions|17 states|26 states
No New Restrictions|4 states|3 states
[attr colspan=”3″]Source: Guttmacher Institute[/etable]
The Guttmacher Institute does suggest one category of restrictions that might be effective. Out of nine states that implemented Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, eight showed a larger-than-average decline in recorded abortions, while the other state showed a slight increase in recorded abortions. While not established as the cause of decline, it is possible that TRAP laws have caused a slight decline in abortions in eight states.
On the other hand, the Guttmacher Institute explicitly credits contraceptive use and a “decrease in unintended pregnancy” as the most likely explanation for the decline.
In other words, a recent statistical study suggests that unreported non-surgical abortions, rather than pro-life regulations, is most likely the primary factor in the decline of reported abortions.