The abortion rate in the U.S. has fallen to its lowest level since before Roe v. Wade, according to a new Centers for Disease Control report.
The CDC released its 2013 abortion surveillance report on Wednesday, showing a 5 percent drop in abortions from 2012 and a 20 percent drop since 2004. The CDC data, which is incomplete because the government does not require states to report abortion numbers, reported 664,435 abortions in 47 states in 2013. The abortion rate was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44.
In comparison to 2012, the new data indicates that about 34,500 fewer babies lost their lives to abortion in 2013.
The Associated Press reports the CDC has not recorded a lower abortion rate since 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton, which allowed for legalized abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. In 1971, several states had legalized abortion; but it was not legal throughout the U.S.