SAFE, LEGAL, AND LESS FREQUENT.

A new study released by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization this week finds that the number of induced abortions worldwide has declined from nearly 46 million in 1995 to less than 42 million in 2003. It's fallen most sharply in places where abortion is safe and legal, and where contraceptive education and use are widespread. ln Eastern Europe, where contraceptive use increased substantially over that period of time, the number of abortions fell from 48 to 28 per 1,000 women. The study also found that abortions happen at about the same rate in places where it's legal as in places where it has been outlawed – meaning illegality doesn't deter women from having them, it only means they're more likely to have unsafe abortions. Any scrap of credibility the anti-abortion/abstinence-only education movement might ever have had just keeps shrinking.

--Kate Sheppard

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