Health and Science

Number of abortions in US falls to lowest since 1973

David Crary
Key Points
  • A research group counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017.
  • That number and rate is the lowest level since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973.
  • One reason for the decline is that fewer women are becoming pregnant.
Abortion-rights activists gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court to protest against abortion laws passed across the country.
Aurora Samerio | NurPhoto | Getty Images

A new report shows that the number and rate of abortions across the U.S. have plunged to their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973.

The report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That's down from 926,000 tallied in the group's previous report for 2014.

One reason for the decline is that fewer women are becoming pregnant. The Guttmacher Institute noted that the birth rate, as well as the abortion rate, declined during the years covered by the new report.

Guttmacher is the only entity that strives to count all abortions in the U.S., making inquiries of individual providers. Federal data excludes California, Maryland and New Hampshire.

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Economy

US housing starts race to 12-year high in August

Key Points
  • U.S. homebuilding surged to more than a 12-year high in August.
  • Both single- and multi-family housing construction increased, suggesting that lower mortgage rates were finally providing a boost to the struggling housing market.
  • Housing starts jumped 12.3% to 1.364 million units last month, the highest level since June 2007, the Commerce Department said.