Only 14 per cent of obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyns) doctors carry out abortions, according to a US survey.
The figure is a drop from the 22 per cent of ob-gyns doctors who said they would perform abortions in a similar survey in 2008.
A pro-life group welcomed the drop, saying it was down to “advances in ultrasound and knowledge about fetal pain”.
The survey asked 1,800 ob-gyns doctors aged 65 or younger whether they carried out abortions and whether they had patients asking for abortions.
Of those who responded, almost all said they did have patients asking for abortions, but around one in seven said they carried out abortions.
The results showed younger ob-gyns doctors were more likely to carry out abortions. Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics were among the least likely to perform abortions.
Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the pro-life Family Research Council, commented that it is impossible to get an accurate picture of how many doctors carry out abortions because there are no abortion reporting requirements in the US.
But she said: “We don’t think abortion is ever good, so we are happy that the amount of abortion providers is on the decrease”.
Rachel Jones, a senior research associate at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, said that the new survey included older doctors than those polled in the 2008 survey.
She also pointed out that roughly one-third of the ob-gyns doctors polled did not respond, and there was no information given on non-respondents.
It was also noted by another commentator that the survey only polled ob-gyns doctors, but others, such as family practitioners, may also carry out abortions.
In May this year sobering statistics showed nearly 190,000 abortions were carried out on women residing in England and Wales during 2010.
The figures, from the Department of Health, revealed that over 16,000 abortions were performed on girls under the age of 18.
Over 40 per cent of last year’s abortions involved women taking abortion-inducing drugs early in their pregnancy.