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Abortion Statistics


Number of abortions per year: Approximately 46 Million
Number of abortions per day:
Approximately 126,000

Where abortions occur:
78% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 22% occur in developed countries.

Legality of abortion:
About 26 million women obtain legal abortions each year, while an additional 20 million abortions are obtained in countries where it is restricted or prohibited by law.

Abortion averages:
Worldwide, the lifetime average is about 1 abortion per woman.

© Copyright 1999-2000, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (


Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996)
Number of abortions per day:
Approximately 3,700

Who's having abortions (age)?
52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who's having abortions (race)?
While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who's having abortions (marital status)?
64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who's having abortions (religion)?
Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".

Who's having abortions (income)?
Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.

Why women have abortions
1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed:
52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Likelihood of abortion:
An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

Abortion coverage:
48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

- A total of 853,485 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC for 2001 from 49 reporting areas, representing a 0.5% decrease from the 857,475 legal induced abortions reported by the same 49 reporting areas for 2000.

- The abortion ratio, defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, was 246 in 2001, compared with 245 reported for 2000. This represents a 0.4% increase in the abortion ratio.

- The abortion rate was 16 per 1,000 women aged 15--44 years for 2001, the same as for 2000. For both the 48 and 49 reporting areas, the abortion rate remained relatively constant during 1997--2001.

- The highest percentages of reported abortions were for women who were unmarried (82%), white (55%) and aged <25 years (52%).

- Of all abortions for which gestational age was reported, 59% were performed at <8 weeks' gestation and 88% at <13 weeks.

- From 1992 (when detailed data regarding early abortions were first collected) through 2001, steady increases have occurred in the percentage of abortions performed at <6 weeks' gestation.

- A limited number of abortions were obtained at >15 weeks' gestation, including 4.3% at 16--20 weeks and 1.4% at >21 weeks.

- A total of 35 reporting areas submitted data stating that they performed medical (nonsurgical) procedures, making up 2.9% of all reported procedures from the 45 areas with adequate reporting on type of procedure.

- In 2000 (the most recent year for which data are available), 11 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion. No deaths were associated with known illegal abortion.

- Interpretation: During 1990--1997, the number of legal induced abortions gradually declined. When the same 48 reporting areas are compared, the number of abortions decreased during 1996--2001. In 2000 and 2001, even with one additional reporting state, the number of abortions declined slightly. In 2000, as in previous years, deaths related to legal induced abortions occurred rarely (less than one death per 100,000 abortions).

- For women who obtained an abortion and whose number of previous abortions was adequately reported (39 reporting areas), 55% were reported to have obtained an abortion for the first time, and 18% were reported to have had at least two previous abortions.

- For women whose marital status was adequately reported (39 reporting areas), 79% of women who obtained abortions were known to be unmarried (Table 11). The abortion ratio for unmarried women (572 per 1,000 live births) was 8.8 times that for married women (65 per 1,000).



The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform - AbortionNo

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