Census shows Utah had lowest abortion rate in country, spent little on family planning

Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 00:50:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah had the nation’s lowest abortion rate before the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts a regular census of family planning healthcare providers.

Other states perform far fewer abortions, but the rate of residents getting abortions is higher than Utah’s rate. By the last count in 2020, there were 4.4 abortions performed for every 1,000 females between 15 and 44 years old.

READ: Judge grants temporary restraining order, blocking Utah's abortion ban

Nationally, Guttmacher has shown a relatively steady decline in the number of abortions performed — from about 1.6 million in 1991 to about 800,000 in 2017. That trend reversed slightly in their latest census.

Utah's 3,120 abortions in 2020 would average out to between eight and nine per day.

Utah's trigger law puts us in the company of just four other states with laws banning nearly all abortions. The others are Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama. Another 21 states have less stringent bans or have concrete plans for such bans.

Abortion opponents have advocated for more support for family planning services since the decision was passed down. Utah funded family planning services at $2.07 per capita in federal and state money at last count.

Our neighbors in Colorado spend the national median: $5.03.

And almost every penny spent in Utah was federal. The state itself allocated $0.01 per capita on family planning services.

The national median allocation from state budgets is $0.37 cents per capita on family planning.