Between 1990 and 2008, pregnancy and abortion rates for women in their twenties dropped dramatically, a new study revealed today. Pregnancy rates fell by 18 percent, while abortion rates dropped by a third.
One of the biggest influencing factors in this decrease is the growing accessibility, use, and options for birth control. Contraceptive use is the best way to prevent abortions in the U.S. Over time, young women have gotten greater access to a larger number of pregnancy prevention methods. The study explains two main causes in the drop:
The introduction of new contraceptive methods and discontinuation of existing ones [and]changes in the use of existing methods: the proportion of women using any method, the methods used, and how consistently and effectively they are used.
Indeed, only 70 percent of women (PDF) who started having sex between 1990 and 1994 used protection, whereas 84 percent did between 2005 and 2008:
And President Obama’s new policy that expands access to birth control will help ensure that more women can get contraception when they need it.
Currently, over half of pregnancies are unintended in the United States. Growing access to prevention methods will lead to a decrease in such unintended pregnancies. Other factors — including the trend toward getting married at an older age — also contribute to the pregnancy drop for 20-somethings.