Although pro-life changes on a state level are certainly a step in the right direction, Guttmacher said it believed these new laws were not the driving force behind the drop in abortions.
In their words:
With the available evidence, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly which factors drove recent declines, and to what degree. However, previous Guttmacher analyses have documented that abortion restrictions, while incredibly harmful at an individual level, were not the main driver of national declines in the abortion rate in the 2008–2011 or 2011–2014 time periods. Much the same appears to hold true for the 2011–2017 timeframe....Rather, the decline in abortions appears to be part of a broader decline in pregnancies, as evidenced by fewer births over the same period.
But, while the number of births overall may be dropping, the report also said that the ratio of abortions to overall pregnancies had also fallen since 2011 by 13 percent.
Guttmacher reported that several states that saw a decline in abortion rates did not have any new restrictions, or had made abortion access easier. Also, abortion rates increased in only five states and the District of Columbia between 2011 and 2017.
Out of 15 states that had increased their number of abortion clinics, 13 "saw declines in their abortion rates, as did eight of the nine states where the number of clinics stayed the same."
Since Guttmacher is staunchly pro-choice, it viewed any abortion restrictions as negative.
"[R]estrictions are usually enacted with the explicit and cruel intent of creating hardship," the group wrote in this report.
However, Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life viewed this report as a positive. "This movement away from abortion, combined with public opinion polls that show vast majorities want to restrict the practice, reveals that American's hearts and minds are increasingly pro-life," she told TheBlaze.