US abortion numbers dropped to a historic low of 926,000 in 2014, the lowest rate since abortion became legal in 1973, according to a new study.
At the same time, the Gallup polling firm recently reported that about half of Americans support women's right to have legal abortions and consider themselves pro-choice. They found that in those counties in which the driving distance to the nearest clinic increased by 100 miles or more between 2012 and 2014, there was a 50 percent decrease in abortions.
According to a study issued January 17 by the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate for USA women ages 15-44 is 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, the past year for which statistics are available.
Following the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, the number of the controversial procedure in the nation increased steadily to reach a peak of 1.6 million in 1990 before starting to fall.
Guttmacher takes a different view, stating improvements in contraceptive use likely has contributed to the decline, but adding punitive abortion restrictions could also be a factor.
Between 2013, when HB 2 was introduced in the Texas Legislature, and June 2016, the number of facilities providing abortion in Texas dropped from 41 to 17.
For the study, researchers analyzed a survey of USA facilities known or expected to have provided abortion services in 2013 or 2014, and compared findings with a similar survey conducted in 2011.
The co-author of the study Jenna Jerman who is a reproductive right think-tank in NY and a public health researcher at the Guttmacher Institute said, "We saw declines in abortion in nearly every single state".
March for Life president Jeanne Mancini said this news was "expected" thanks to "the enactment of many common sense, pro-life state laws providing for women's informed consent, parental notification, and abortion clinic regulations".
The abortion rate in 2014 also dropped to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women, the lowest since 1973 when abortion was legalized.
For one unintended pregnancies fell from 51 percent to 45 percent between 2008 and 2011, which has subsequently resulted in fewer women considering abortion.
Abortion-rights supporters seized on the study as evidence of the devastating impact on House Bill 2, while anti-abortion advocates questioned the credibility of the research given its source.
However, the study didn't show cause of the decrease in abortion rate but according to experts the easy access to contraception is the main reason behind the decline as it prevents unwanted pregnancy.