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Experts Credit Contraceptives For Drop In Ohio's Abortion Rate

Guttmacher Institute

A new report from the Guttmacher Institute says the rate of abortion in Ohio, and across the country, has hit the lowest rate on record. Even as access to abortions has become more limited in Ohio, experts attribute the decline to wider use of contraceptives.

The report states that Ohio experienced a 20 percent decline in the rate of abortions between 2011 to 2014. During that same period, six Ohio abortion clinics closed.

While it may seem that restricted access to abortions could be responsible for this decline, Alison Norris from the Ohio State University College of Public Health says that's not the case.

"We think that it can be attributed to better access to contraception," Norris says, "and in particular more effective methods of contraception, including long acting reversible contraception."

That methods include implants like IUDs, or intrauterine devices, which Norris says have helped prevent more unwanted pregnancies.

According to the Guttmacher report, 28 states that did not introduce new abortion restrictions also saw a significant decline in the number of abortions.

While it's possible that, to a lesser extent, the decrease in abortions is due to women not having access to an abortion clinics, Norris says the data to prove that doesn't exist.

"We don't really have a way of knowing who's pregnant and what their intentions were for their pregnancies." she says.