By EMILY WALOS
Abortion: “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” For some, it means murder, but, for others, it is a decision they came to based on their own situation. Abortion is a very serious topic in the United States and must be taken with extreme caution and sensitivity.
With each year in the United States, abortion rates have been decreasing; the U.S. left 2017 with 881,000 abortions, which is a reduction from the 885,000 abortions in 2016 and the 913,000 abortions in 2015. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2014 abortion rates were abiding at around 1.06 million; however, this was not even its peak. During 1996, there was a total of 1.36 million abortions, followed by 1.31 million in 2000, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.2 million in 2005 and 1.21 million in 2008.
In 2015, New York faced approximately a 35% abortion rate of all pregnancies according to Abort73.com “U.S. Abortion Statistics.” In the District of Columbia, it had its highest percentage in 2014, coming in with 38%, and New Jersey had an abortion rate of 30%. Now it might be thought that teenagers would make up the majority of women that have abortions due to what society has portrayed in several forms of media. However, teenage girls ranging from 19 and below only make up about 10.1% of the abortion population. The age ranges that hold the highest abortion rate are women aged 20 to 24 years old with 31.1% and 25 to 34 with 45.3%.
Surveying 1,209 post-abortive women at nine different abortion clinics, the Guttmacher Institute found that the main reason, which constituted 23% of the replies, that women had for getting an abortion was not that the pregnancy would result in extreme health issues for themselves or their child but because they were not financially secure and stable enough to raise a child. Not only did many say they weren’t economically able to raise a child but also that they weren’t mentally and physically ready to take on something as big as being a parent. This being the exact reason for 25% of women for their abortion.
On Jan. 31, Louisiana took to the Supreme Court in hopes of changing the state laws on abortion. According to the Julia Jacobs and Matt Stevens article “With Abortion in Spotlight,” the new law would allow only “a single doctor [to be] authorized to perform abortions [in the state].” However, the Supreme Court denied the request. This was the first discussion dealing with abortion in 2019.
According to history.com’s article on Roe v. Wade, the years between 1860 and 1880 was the time period in the U.S. when abortion became a consequential act. However, in the twentieth century, the laws in all states were still “rarely enforced and women with money had no problem terminating pregnancies if they wished.” The enforcement of the laws was not seriously active until the 1930s which eventually led to reducing laws in the states of New York and California “even before the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.”
Perspectives on abortions throughout the United States have differed from state to state. The act has also been perceived differently throughout time as being both positive and negative; nevertheless, as the years go on the number of women getting abortions have dramatically decreased.