Abortions have declined in states where new laws make it harder to have them—but they've also waned in states where abortion rights are protected, an AP survey finds. Nearly everywhere, in red states and blue, abortions are down since 2010. Explanations vary: Abortion-rights advocates attribute it to expanded access to effective contraceptives and a drop in unintended pregnancies. Some foes of abortion say there has been a shift in societal attitudes, with more women choosing to carry their pregnancies to term. Several of the states that have been most aggressive in passing anti-abortion laws—including Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma—have seen their abortion numbers drop by more than 15% since 2010.
But more liberal states such as New York, Washington, and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion. Nationwide, the AP survey showed a decrease in abortions of about 12% since 2010. (See AP's breakdown of state-by-state abortions trends.) One major factor has been a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which in 2010 reached its lowest level in decades. The only states with significant increases in abortions since 2010 are Republican-led Louisiana and Michigan, which have passed laws intended to restrict abortion but saw abortions rise by 18.5%, due in part to women coming from other states to avoid abortion restrictions. Five of the six states with the biggest declines—Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—have passed no recent abortion restrictions. Click for the full story. (Read more abortion stories.)