Politics & Government

Abortion rate continues to drop in Washington

The state Health Department says abortion and pregnancy rates continue to drop in Washington.

The department reported Thursday that the rate of reported abortions for women of childbearing age (15 to 44) was about 17 for every 1,000 women last year, compared with 18 in 2008. The pregnancy rate for the group dropped to 83, from 85 in 2008.

The department says the abortion rate for teens (15-19) hit a new low of about 17 for every 1,000, compared with 19 in 2008. Pregnancy rates for teens are their lowest since 1980 at about 47 per 1,000. The rate peaked in 1989 at 96 pregnancies per 1,000.

The department attributes the declines to abstinence and contraceptives.