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Birth rate up, abortion down

2006 saw the largest number of births in the US since the end of the baby boom -- more than four million. And a recent study says the number of abortions is down nationwide. One reason is because the number of abortion providers is on the decline. That includes hospitals, clinics and private offices. Some of the latest date shows North Carolina rates abortion rates are at the lowest point since the late 1990s. This graph (right) from the Guttmacher Institute shows how North Carolina's abortion rates compare to US rates between 1973 and 2005. The orange line represents US rates and the pink line is North Carolina. As you can see, our state's rates have been lower, but more or less follow the national trend. The number of North Carolina abortions peaked in the '80s. While nationally, abortions were at their highest in the '70s. Linda Collins is a social worker who works with women who choose to give their babies up for adoption if abortion is not an option for them. Collins said, "Over the last ten years or longer we have seen a steady decrease in the number of birth parents who are actually wanting to make an adoption plan for their child." Collins says one factor of fewer people opting for adoption for unwanted pregnancies is it's more accepting nowadays to have a child and not be married. Despite lower rates, abortions are still happening. And researchers say there is a need to reduce unintended pregnancy. Next week marks the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. The 1973 court case that legalized abortion in the US.

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