U.S. abortion rate continues to fall — but California's is a mystery

In the years immediately following Roe v. Wade, the abortion rate skyrocketed across the country, reaching a high of 25 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since that time, the rate nationwide has fallen by half. 

Declines in abortion are driven primarily by lower pregnancy and birth rates overall, which in turn are impacted by increased contraceptive access and use.

California, however, stopped providing abortion data to the CDC in 1998 and does not currently track abortion numbers. Why? The California Department of Public Health told CalMatters it did not have information on why it’s failing to collect this basic data. The only publicly available data comes from the state’s Medi-Cal population, which represents low-income residents. 

In 2020, abortion services were reported for 100,741 enrollees.

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