Abortion Rates Decline In The United States - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Abortion Rates Decline In The United States

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NEW YORK (AP) - A new report says the number of abortions in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 1974.      

A survey by the Guttmacher Institute found there were 1.2 million abortions in 2005, down 25 percent from the all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990.      

Researchers say there are several likely reasons for the decline, including more effective use of contraceptives, lower levels of unplanned pregnancy, and greater difficulty in obtaining abortions in some parts of the country.      

The report also notes there was an increase in the number of early-medication abortions, notably through the use of the RU-486 abortion pill.      

The institute says despite the decline, more than one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2005.

The institute's president says officials must ramp up efforts toward prevention through better access to contraception.