Abortion Statistics

The comprehensive statistics listed below are taken from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI).  Although the statistics are helpful, they are also incomplete.  For example, the CDC surveillance summaries most recent statistics are from 2004 and they show that Alaska did not report the number of legal abortions for 1998 - 2002; California and New Hampshire did not report for 1998 - 2004; Oklahoma did not report for 1998 - 1999; and West Virginia did not report for 2003 - 2004.  Unfortunately, the national statistics for abortion will always be incomplete.  As for The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), which is a private company, their statistics are useful, however, they are inter-connected with Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider here in the U.S.  Below are some examples of the most current information from both of these organizations.

 

National Abortion Statistics

  • In 2004, a total of 839,226 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC by 49 reporting areas. This change represents a 1.1% decline from 2003, for which 49 areas reported 848,163 legal induced abortions.  (CDC)
  • In 2004, the highest number of reported legal induced abortions occurred in Florida (91,710), NYC (91,673), and Texas (74,801); the fewest† occurred in Wyoming (12), South Dakota (814), and Idaho (963).  (CDC)
  • About half of American women have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at current rates more than one-third (35%) will have had an abortion by age 45.  (AGI)
  • In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000.  (AGI)
  • Overall unintended pregnancy rates have stagnated over the past decade, yet unintended pregnancy increased by 29% among poor women while decreasing 20% among higher-income women.  (AGI)
  • Women known to be aged 20--24 years obtained 33% of all abortions for which age was adequately reported.  (CDC)
  • For women whose type of procedure was adequately reported, 87% of abortions were known to have been performed by curettage (which includes dilatation and evacuation [D&E]) and 0.6% by intrauterine instillation.  (CDC)
  • Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. (AGI)
  • For women whose marital status was adequately reported (41 reporting areas), 80% of women who obtained abortions were known to be unmarried. The abortion ratio for unmarried women (510 per 1,000 live births) was 8.4 times that for married women (61 per 1,000). (CDC) 
  • For women who obtained legal induced abortions and for whom data on previous live births were adequately reported (41 reporting areas), 40% were known to have had no previous live births, and 32% had had two or more previous live births.  The abortion ratio was highest for women who had three previous live births (274 per 1,000 live births) and lowest for those who had one previous live birth (190 per 1,000).  (CDC)
  • From the National Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, CDC identified 26 deaths for 2003 that were thought to be potentially related to abortion.  (CDC) 
  • From 1972 to 2003, in the U.S. there have been 496 maternal deaths due to abortion.  386 were from legal abortion; 94 were from illegal abortion; and 15 were Unknown whether induced or spontaneous abortion.  (CDC)
  • The number of legal abortions reported by all areas in the United States from 1970 to 2004 is an estimated 37,657,323.  (CDC)

 

Sources: 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute at http://www.guttmacher.org/.