The Iowa Department of Public Health reports the number of abortions decreased from almost 5,400 to just over 4,420 between 2010 and 2013, an 18.1 percent drop.

That compares with a 12 percent decline nationally since 2010, according to the AP survey of all 45 states where abortion reporting is required.

Legislatures in 31 states have adopted a total of 267 restrictions since 2011 aimed at limiting access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

“In Rhode Island and Connecticut, this has been a major benefit”, she said. “Sometimes through family planning programs, Title X program and, in some states, Medicaid expansion that expanded family planning services to women of lower incomes – all of that made (birth control) more accessible and more affordable for women”.

The state’s abortion laws have changed very tiny over that time. One would require abortion clinics to post signs reiterating the importance of informed consent. Other conservative states soon followed with similar laws.

“This is the most pro-life generation we’ve seen in history”, said Emily Zender of Illinois Right to Life.

Genevieve Marnon of Right to Life of Michigan says the increase resulted partly from new regulations prompting several clinics to close. Laurie Temple Field, government relations director for Planned Parenthood in Hawaii, said more women there were getting access to health insurance and affordable contraception. The biggest decreases were shared nearly equally by Republican-led states that have joined in enacting a wave of anti-abortion laws in recent years and states that have rejected such measures while protecting abortion rights. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in the U.S. – says its health centers report a 91 percent increase since 2009 in the use of IUDs and contraceptive implants.

AP Exclusive: Abortions declining in almost all states