A US paradox: Rising unintended pregnancies, declining number of abortions

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Unlike in other developed countries, in the United States abortion/access to abortion is a strongly politicized issue. From 2002 to 2011, all three measures of abortion (the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions) decreased 13%, 14%, and 12%, respectively (CDC, 2012). A reason for the decrease in abortions may be the increase in state legislative restrictions (TRAP laws) which flourished in many US states between 2008 and 2011. Studies have shown that, while the overall abortion rates are steadily declining, the number of unintended pregnancies is on the rise, and about 50% of all abortions are repeated abortions. Using data from the 2008 Alan Guttmacher Institute Abortion Patient Survey (APS), this thesis focuses on three issues: 1) the relationship between unintended pregnancy and abortion, 2) the effects anti-abortion legislation have on the reproductive health of selected groups of women, and 3) the factors that contribute to the relatively high incidence of repeat abortion in the US.

Abortion, Unintended pregnancy, Legislation