(HealthDay News) – There was a large drop in the number of abortions reported in 2009, bringing the rate to the lowest levels since 2000, according to research published in the Nov. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Karen Pazol, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed voluntarily provided reporting data for abortions from 45 areas reporting yearly 2000–2009.

The researchers found that, in 2009, there were 772,630 abortions in the 45 reporting areas. For women aged 15–44 years, the abortion rate for 2009 was 15.1 abortions per 1,000 women and the abortion ratio was 227 abortions per 1,000 live births. In 2009, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 5%, compared to 2008, the largest single-year decrease from 2000–2009. For 2000–2009, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased by 6%, 7%, and 8%, respectively. In 2009, women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions (32.7% of all abortions for women aged 20–24 years and 24.4% for 25–29-year olds). Adolescents (aged 15–19 years old) accounted for 15.5% of all abortions. Abortion rates increased among women >40 years.

“The change from 2008–2009 for both the total number of abortions and the abortion rate was the largest single-year decrease during 2000–2009, and all three measures of abortion (total numbers, rates, and ratios) decreased to the lowest level observed during this period,” the authors write.

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