Abortion rates in California dramatically decreasing

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - More women in California are choosing not to have an abortion, according to a new study that shows the trend dramatically changing.  The findings show education and proper use of birth control are helping bring those numbers down.

Samantha Ann was just a teenager when she found out she was pregnant with her now four-year old baby girl.

"It was really scary.  You always get those looks at high school," she said.

Like many young people her age, abortion is an option she though about constantly.

"Obviously, at one point you do.  No lies, because you are scared.  I mean, I was actually 15 when I got pregnant and had turned 16 before I told my mom," she said.

According to a study released by the Guttmacher Institute, California women today are about half as likely to get an abortion than their peers 20 years ago.

"Abortion is becoming a little less acceptable or maybe people understand a little bit more about the consequences," said Linda Davis, executive director of the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center.

The institute contacted every known abortion clinic in the U.S. for the study.  Providers in Kern County say they agree with the trend.  

The state doesn't publish official abortion statistics so, providers get their estimates from national trends and abortion clinics like the one in Bakersfield, by the number of days abortions are taking place.

Teen mom, Bailey Collier, decided to have 16-month old Ayden, who was born after only 27 weeks.  He weighed only two pounds.

"I was scared for him and his health, more than mine because he was really early. I didn't know really how that would affect him," said Collier.

Now, healthier than ever, Bailey doesn't regret a thing.

"I'm not saying he's a mistake, but if I could have waited to have him, I would have waited, but now that I have him I wouldn't take him back," she said.

Birth control is cited for the decrease, and so is education which area providers say starts right at home.

"It has to be an on-going education. It has to be education that includes parents," said nurse manager, Teddie Scott of the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center.

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Carlos is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc

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