LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- According to a study published by the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates in the U.S. are on the decline and currently they are the lowest they have been since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973.
In their report, released Wednesday, they say from 2011 to 2017 the rate of abortions in the U.S. dropped from nearly 17 for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 to 13.5 for every 1,000.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, Lane County has also seen a downward trend since 1989.
To put things into perspective, in 1997 there were 1,348 abortions in Lane County, but last year there were 740.
Chelsea Jennings, a Planned Parenthood advocate, says even though we are seeing this decline, we should continue to offer appropriate-level sex education starting in elementary school.
"It's safe to say that we can attribute that drop in the unintended pregnancy rate to access to birth control, access to family planning and comprehensive sex education."
However, those at Oregon Right to Life attribute the decline to other reasons.
Lois Anderson, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, credits this drop in part to what she calls a "culture shift."
"We are seeing a lot less shaming, honestly, of women who are getting pregnant in situations that we might not judge as being ideal," said Anderson.
No matter what the cause may be, both Jennings and Anderson say they think the trend is a good thing and hope it continues.