U.S. abortions fell 5 percent during the Great Recession in the biggest one-year decrease in at least a decade, according to government figures released Wednesday.
While many states have aggressively restricted access to abortion, most of those laws were adopted in the past two years and are not believed to have played a role in the decline.
The reason for the decline wasn't clear, but some experts said it may be due to better use of birth control during tough economic times. Their theory is that some women believe they can't afford to get pregnant.
Keep in mind that the abortion rate declined even though the birth rate was declining, which is the indirect evidence that women are relying more on contraception to avoid getting pregnant in the first place.
The increased care with which women are avoiding conception in the face of economic uncertainty is similar to the story being told in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tom A. Moultrie, Takudzwa S. Sayi and Ian M. Timæus have a paper in the latest issue of Population Studies detailing the role that postponement of births has been playing in African fertility levels.