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Abortion and Contraception
The Cost of Abortion
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ABORTION, VISIT: Prenatal Development, Abortion Procedures or Abortion Pictures
~ In 2011, two women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion; From 1973-2010, 421 women have died as a result of legal abortion (CDC).
~ The number of deaths attributable to legal induced abortion was highest before the 1980s (CDC).
~ In 1972 (the year before abortion was federally legalized), a total of 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions, and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions (CDC).
Click on this image to read real testimonies about abortion.
~ Induced abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite the use of contraception (CDC).
~ 51% of women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. (AGI).
~ 8% of women having abortions have never used a method of birth control (AGI).
~ 9 in 10 women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using a contraceptive method (AGI).
When Do Abortions Occur?
How Does Abortion Take Place?
Who Has Abortions?
~ In 2012, unmarried women accounted for 85.3% of all abortions (CDC).
~ Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population (NAF).
~ Medical abortions made up approximately 21.9% of all abortions reported in 2012 (CDC).
~ Ninety-six per cent of the more than 140,000 second-trimester abortions that occur annually in the USA are accomplished by dilation and evacuation (D&E) (NAF).
Primary, nationwide abortion statistics for the United States are available from two sources—privately from the Guttmacher Institute (AGI) and publicly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In recent years, California, Maryland, and New Hampshire have not publicly released their abortion totals—rendering the CDC numbers incomplete. The following information has been gleaned from both sources to provide an overview of the frequency and demography of abortion. Additional, secondary statistics have been taken from the National Abortion Federation's (NAF) 2009 teaching text on abortion, Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care.
Who Is Doing The Abortions?
Note: This page was last updated on May 25, 2016. Please visit Abort73's website for more information.
Abortion and Minors
Abortion Facts & Statistics
~ 89-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC).
~ In 2012, 7.2% of all abortions occurred between 14-20 weeks' gestation; 1.3% occurred ≥21 weeks' gestation (CDC).
Percentage of 2012 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):
*Gestational weeks are measured from the first day of the woman's last menstruation and not from the day of conception. Though it does not provide an accurate fetal age (which is roughly 2 weeks less than the gestational age), it is the simplest way for an OB/GYN to age a pregnancy since the day of conception is often not known. Hence, if an abortion occurs at 8 weeks gestation, it is actually aborting a 6 week embryo. The images on our Prenatal Development and Abortion Pictures pages are more precisely captioned with fetal ages in accordance with standard teaching texts on prenatal development.
Why Do Abortions Occur?
~ 40% of minors having an abortion report that neither of their parents knew about the abortion (AGI).
~ 39 states currently enforce parental consent or notification laws for minors seeking an abortion: AL, AK, AR, AZ, CO, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, and WY. The Supreme Court ruled that minors must have the alternative of seeking a court order authorizing the procedure (AGI).
~ In 2011, 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.2 million in 2005, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
~ On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).
~ Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF).
~ One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).
Abortion and Public Funds
~ The U.S. Congress has barred the use of federal Medicaid funds to pay for abortions, except when the woman's life would be endangered by a full-term pregnancy or in cases of rape or incest (AGI).
~ 17 states (AK, AZ, CA, CT, HI, IL, MA, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) use public funds to pay for abortions for some poor women. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds—virtually all from the state (AGI).
~ In 2012, women who had not aborted in the past accounted for 55.7% of all abortions; women with one or two prior abortions accounted for 35.6%, and women with three or more prior abortions accounted for 8.6% (CDC).
~ Among women who obtained abortions in 2012, 40.3% had no prior live births; 45.8% had one or two prior live births, and 14.0% had three or more prior live births (CDC).
~ Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 32.8% of all abortions in 2012; women between 25-29 obtained 25.4% (CDC).
~ In 2012, adolescents under 15 years obtained .04% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio: 817 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
~ Black women were 3.6 times more likely to have an abortion in 2012 than non-Hispanic white women (CDC).
~ The abortion rate of non-metropolitan women is about half that of women who live in metropolitan counties (NAF).
~ The abortion rate of women with Medicaid coverage is three times as high as that of other women (NAF).
~ 37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
~ In 2009, the average cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation was $451 (AGI).
~ Twenty-one percent of all U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. (AGI).
~ In 2011, the highest number of reported abortions occurred in California (181,730), New York (138,370) and Florida (84,990); the fewest occurred in Wyoming (120), South Dakota (600) and North Dakota (1,250) (AGI).
~ Mississippi had the lowest abortion rate in 2011 (Wyoming had too few abortions for reliable tabulation), and New York had the highest (AGI). There were approximately 17.5 births for every abortion in Mississippi and approximately 2.3 births for every abortion in New York.
~ The annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990's. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 6% between 2000 and 2009, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006 (CDC).
~ From 2011 to 2012, the total number and ratio of reported abortions decreased by 4% (CDC).
~ In 2011, 17% of legal induced abortions occurred in California (AGI).
~ The U.S. abortion rate is similar to those of Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden but higher than those of other Western European countries (NAF).
~ In 2005, the abortion rate in the United States was higher than recent rates reported for Canada and Western European countries and lower than rates reported for China, Cuba, the majority of Eastern European countries, and certain Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (CDC).
For Further Study
Annual Abortion Statistics
~ The number of abortion providers declined by 4% between 2008 and 2011—from 1,793 to 1,720 (AGI).
~ Forty-two percent of providers offer very early abortions (during the first four weeks’ gestation) and 95% offer abortion at eight weeks. Sixty-four percent of providers offer at least some second-trimester abortion services (13 weeks or later), and 20% offer abortion after 20 weeks. Eleven percent of all abortion providers offer abortions past 24 weeks (AGI).
~ Most abortions in the USA are provided in freestanding clinics; in 2005, only 5% occurred in hospitals, down from 22% in 1980, and only 2% took place in physician's offices (NAF).