Even as the election outcome intensifies America’s abortion debate, a comprehensive new survey finds the annual number of abortions in the U.S has dropped to well under 1 million, the lowest level since 1974.
The report, which counted 926,200 abortions in 2014, was released this morning by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group which supports abortion rights. The Associated Press reports it is the only entity which strives to count all abortions in the U.S.; the latest federal survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacks data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire.
The total from 2014 represented a drop of 12.5% from Guttmacher’s previous survey, which tallied 1.06 million abortions in 2011. The decrease was spread nationwide; in only six states did abortions increase over the three-year span.
According to the report, the abortion rate was 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, the lowest rate since abortion was legalized nationally by the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Following that ruling, the number of abortions in the U.S. rose steadily—reaching a peak of 1.6 million in 1990—before starting a decline.