Free birth control cuts abortion rate dramatically, study finds
By Brian Alexander, NBC News Contributor

A dramatic new study with implications for next month’s presidential election finds that offering women free birth control can reduce unplanned pregnancies — and send the abortion rate spiraling downward.

When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate, according to a new report by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers.

>From 2008 to 2010, annual abortion rates among participants in the Contraceptive Choice Project — dubbed CHOICE — ranged from 4.4 abortions per 1,000 women to 7.5 abortions per 1,000. That’s far less than the 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women nationwide reported in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available.

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