General Information / History / Stats / Types

2006, 2005, 2004 U.S. Abortion Statistics (CDC, 11/07, 11/09; AGI, 1/08)

According to the CDC, in 2004, there were 839,226 legal abortions in the U.S., excluding the states of AK, CA, NH, OK, WV, which did not report to the CDC for that year. CDC data indicate that Black women obtained 38.2% of all U.S. abortions for 2004 (in the states reporting). According to the CDC, inconsistent method use of the oral contraceptives (75.9%) or condoms (49.3%) was the most common reason that women became pregnant and obtained abortions.

The AGI reports that, for 2005, there were 1.21 Million legal U.S. abortions.

This does not indicate that abortion numbers are on the rise. AGI statistics are usually considerably higher than those from the CDC because AGI actively collects data from states and abortion facilities nationwide, and because several states do not report to the CDC…

2006 CDC Abortion Surveillance: Abortions Rose 3.1% in 2006, Other Research Shows Decline
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control claims the number of abortions has rose during 2006, the last year for which it has national data available. However, a January 2008 report from a pro-abortion group that is considered more effective in tabulating abortions shows abortions declining.

Each year, the CDC requests abortion data from 52 reporting areas, including New York City and the District of Columbia. However, just 49 areas gave the CDC abortion stats and only 46 have reported consistently over the last 10 years.

California, Louisiana, and New Hampshire are not included in the annual abortion totals the CDC reports.

The new report indicates there were a total of 846,181 abortions during 2006, which the CDC says is a 3.1 percent increase over its 2005 numbers.

CDC notes the abortion rate was 16.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and the abortion ratio was 236 abortions per 1,000 live births, or 23.6 percent of pregnancies ending in abortion.

Those figures are lower that and different from the statistics compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, the pro-abortion group that is the former research arm of Planned Parenthood.

In its January 2008 report, considered more accurate because Guttmacher goes through abortion businesses themselves rather than relying on state health department figures and because it gets figures from the entire country, Guttmacher said abortions dropped to 1.21 million in 2005 from 1.31 million in 2000.

Guttmacher notes that 22 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, a lower abortion ratio than the CDC figure.

Despite the increases in the numbers, CDC joins Guttmacher in saying that, during the previous decade (1996-2006) reported abortion numbers, rates, and ratios decreased 5.7%, 8.8%, and 14.8%, respectively.

Digging deeper into the new CDC report, in 2006, as during the previous decade, women aged 20–29 years accounted for the majority (56.8%) of abortions and had the highest abortion rates (29.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 years and 22.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25–29 years).

By contrast the abortion ratio — the percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion — are highest at the extremes, with women in their 40s and teenagers more likely to have an abortion when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy.

The CDC indicates the majority (62.0%) of abortions in 2006 were done on unborn children at 8 weeks gestation or sooner. Some 3.7 percent of all abortions are done on babies greater than 21 weeks gestation.

During 1997–2006, the percentage of abortions done earlier in pregnancy increased 11.7 percent — likely because of more women switching from surgical abortions to abortions using the dangerous mifepristone (RU 486) abortion drug.

The report indicates 87.6 percent of abortions are still done using the curettage (including vacuum aspiration, sharp curettage, and dilation and evacuation) surgical procedure while 10.6 percent of abortions rely on the abortion pill.

Although abortion was supposed to make it safer for women, the CDC indicates women continue to die from botched legal abortions.

"Deaths of women associated with complications from abortions for 2006 are being investigated under CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2005, the most recent year for which data were available, seven women were reported to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions," the report says.

Six of the women who died from botched abortions had surgical abortion procedures while one woman died from the mifepristone abortion drug.

No women died from illegal abortions during the year.

Looking at the state figures, New York continued leading the nation in terms of the number of abortions with 83,220 while Wyoming saw 275 get abortions in state.

Just 39 states submitted date about the racial makeup of women getting abortions.

White women accounted for the largest percentage (55.8%) of abortions, black women accounted for 36.4% and women of other racial groups for 7.8%. As has been the case in previous years, black women had higher abortion rates and ratios than white women and women of other races.

Some 83.5% of all women obtaining abortions were unmarried and unmarried women accounted for a slightly higher percentage of abortions in 2006 than in prior years.

Among the 41 areas for which the number of previous live births was reported for 2006, 41.3% of women had already had at least one child at the time of their abortion. On the other hand, 44.8 percent of women getting abortions in 2006 had already had at least one abortion and 19.2 percent had at least two prior abortions.

[25 November 2009, Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC, www.LifeNews.com, http://www.lifenews.com/nat5707.html]

 

Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies in 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia). For 2006, a total of 846,181 abortions were reported to CDC. Among the 46 areas that provided data consistently during 1996–2006, a total of 835,134 abortions (98.7% of the total) were reported. During the previous decade (1997–2006), the number of reported abortions decreased 5.7%; most of this decline occurred before 2001. During the previous year (2005–2006), the total number of abortions increased 3.1%, and the abortion rate increased 3.2%; the abortion ratio was stable.

 

CDC, MMWR Abortion Surveillance, 27 November 2009, 58 (S S08); 1-35  

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5808a1.htm?s_cid=ss5808a1_e

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI): Some Statistics

"Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45. Moreover, a broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions. 57% of women having abortions are in their 20s; 60% have one or more children; 86% are unmarried; 57% are economically disadvantaged; 88% live in a metropolitan area; and 78% report a religious affiliation. No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority: 41% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic, 32% are black non-Hispanic, 20% are Hispanic and 7% are of other racial backgrounds.

"Contraceptive use is a key predictor of women's recourse to abortion. [Fifty-four percent] of abortions occur among the much larger group of women who were using contraceptives in the month they became pregnant. Many of these women report difficulty using contraceptives consistently…" [http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/alabama.html]

Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use. [Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK, Contraceptive use among U.S. women having abortions in 2000–2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, 34(6):294–303.]  [http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html#7]

• In 2005, there were 1,787 abortion providers in the United States. This represents a 2% decrease from 2000, when there were 1,819 abortion providers. 34% of these providers were hospitals, 21% were abortion clinics (clinics where more than half of all patient visits were for abortion), 24% were clinics where fewer than half of all visits were for abortion, and 21% were private physicians' offices. 69% of all abortions were provided at abortion clinics, 25% at other clinics, 5% at hospitals and 2% at private physicians' offices. [http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/alabama.html]

Black women are 4.8 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely. [http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html#9]
 

 

Alan Guttmacher Institute: U.S. ABORTION RATE (2005) FALLS TO LOWEST LEVEL IN THREE DECADES – New report does find medication abortions on the increase. "We don't know why," said study author Rachel Jones [senior research associate, Guttmacher Institute, nonprofit group that focuses on reproductive issues]. The findings will be published in the March issue of the institute's journal, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.Related News
 
The actual number of abortions dropped to a new low, the lowest level since 1976 (1.179 million), with 1.2 million abortions in 2005, compared to a high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990. The numbers have dropped 25% from 1990 to 2005. According to the Guttmacher data, the number of abortions declined by 8 percent between 2000 and 2005, from 1.31 million to 1.21 million.
 
The institute's president, Sharon Camp, noted that despite the decline, more than one in five pregnancies ended in abortion in 2005.
 
The report does not include an analysis of why the levels have continued to decline. "We don't regard [the findings] as good or bad," Jones said. "It's a descriptive study."
 
 
The abortion rate for 2005 was 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 (down 9 percent from 2000; lowest rate since 1974). In comparison, the rate was 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 1981, 21.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 2000, and 19.7 abortions per 1,000 women in 2004.
 
Abortion rates were highest in Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Maryland and California. Rates were lowest in largely rural states: Wyoming, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Idaho and Utah.
 
However, the report noted that the rates reflected the state in which the abortion occurred, thus including nonresident women who crossed state lines to get an abortion.
 
By region, the Northeast had the highest abortion rate, followed by the West, the South and the Midwest.
 
To arrive at their findings, Jones and her team contacted all known abortion providers in the United States and also used U.S. Census Bureau data to look at national and state trends.
 
Among the trends they uncovered was an increase in medical abortions between 2000 and 2005. "A majority of providers offer both RU-486 [medical abortion] as well as surgical," Jones said. "The number offering just RU-486 went up."
 
Jones and her team found that 57 percent of all known abortion providers now offer such abortion services, compared with 33 percent in early 2001. Medical abortions accounted for 13 percent, or 161,000, of all abortions done in 2005, more than double the level in 2001.
 
More than six of 10 abortions were performed within the first eight weeks, the researchers reported. And almost three of 10 were done at six weeks or before.
 
Jones' team also found that the average cost of an abortion at 10 weeks was $413, about $11 less than in 2001 when inflation is taken into account.
 
The number of providers in 2005 was 1,787, two percent (2%) fewer than in 2000…
 
While the study didn't include an analysis of why the rate is declining, Janice Crouse [director,  Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America, conservative public policy organization] said one reason could be a decline in abortions among teen girls.
 
That drop, she added, is partially explained by the success of abstinence programs. "Abortion definitely has gone down, particularly among young people," Crouse said.
 
"We'd like to take a look at the dynamics [behind the statistics]," said Jones, adding that Guttmacher plans to look more closely at the use of RU-486 in future research.
 [17January2008, Kathleen Doheny, U.S. News & World Report, HealthDay News, ScoutNews, http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080117/us-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-in-decades.htm; Guttmacher Institute, http://www.guttmacher.org/ ; 18Jan08, LifeNews.com; http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hKEE0dpB9sBkDB225XZQGKkzyJ8wD8U7QHVG3]
 

 

CDC 2004 U.S. Abortion Surveillance Statistics (released 11/07) 

Nationally, in 2004: 

Women 19 and under obtained 17.4% of the abortions

Women 20-24 obtained 32.8% of the abortions in 2004

54.1% of the women were White, and 38.2% of the women were Black

Unmarried women obtained 82.8% of the abortions

Women having no previous live births composed 41.0% of all abortions

Abortions performed at or over 21 weeks (5 months, 1 week — late term) gestation occurred in 1.4% of the abortions in 2004…

 

 

2004 U.S. ABORTION QUICK STATS [CDC]

Total             839,226  [excluding AK, CA, NH, OK, WV]

19 & Under     17.4%
20-24            32.8%

White            54.1%
Black             38.2%

Unmarried    82.8%

No Previous Live Births  41.0%

Equal to/Greater than 21 Weeks (5 months, 1 week) Gestation  1.4%  (11,749 late term abortions)

 

 Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2004
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5609a1.htm
For each year since 1969, CDC has compiled abortion data by state or area of occurrence. During 1973–1997, data were received from or estimated for 52 reporting areas in the United States: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City.

In 1998 and 1999, CDC compiled abortion data from 48 reporting areas. Alaska, California, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma did not report, and data for these states were not estimated. During 2000–2002, Oklahoma again reported these data, increasing the number of reporting areas to 49; for 2003 and 2004, Alaska again reported and West Virginia did not, maintaining the number of reporting areas at 49.
[23November2007, MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 56(SS09);1-33]
Related: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_15.pdf
 
Blacks in 2004 — 38.2% of all abortions

 

 

Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2004

CDC began abortion surveillance in 1969 to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions. This report summarizes and describes data voluntarily reported to CDC regarding legal induced abortions obtained in the United States in 2004.

Description of System: For each year since 1969, CDC has compiled abortion data by state or area of occurrence. During 1973–1997, data were received from or estimated for 52 reporting areas in the United States: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. In 1998 and 1999, CDC compiled abortion data from 48 reporting areas. Alaska, California, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma did not report, and data for these states were not estimated. During 2000–2002, Oklahoma again reported these data, increasing the number of reporting areas to 49; for 2003 and 2004, Alaska again reported and West Virginia did not, maintaining the number of reporting areas at 49.

Results: A total of 839,226 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC for 2004 from 49 reporting areas (see above – CA, NH, and WV do not report so those abortion numbers are not included), representing a 1.1% decline from the 848,163 legal induced abortions reported by 49 reporting areas for 2003.

The abortion ratio, defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, was 238 in 2004, a decrease from the 241 in 2003.

The abortion rate was 16 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years for 2004, the same since 2000. For the same 47 reporting areas, the abortion rate remained relatively constant during 1998–2004.

In 2003 (the most recent years for which data are available), 10 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion. No death was associated with known illegal abortion.

The highest percentages of reported abortions were for women who were known to be unmarried (80%), white (53%), and aged <25 years (50%).

Of all abortions for which gestational age was reported, 61% were performed at <8 weeks' gestation and 88% at <13 weeks. From 1992 (when detailed data regarding early abortions were first collected) through 2004, steady increases have occurred in the percentage of abortions performed at <6 weeks' gestation, except for a slight decline in 2003. A limited number of abortions were obtained at >15 weeks' gestation, including 4.0% at 16–20 weeks and 1.4% at >21 weeks.

A total of 35 reporting areas submitted data stating that they performed and enumerated medical (nonsurgical) procedures, making up 9.7% of all known reported procedures from the 45 areas with adequate reporting on type of procedure.

Public Health Action: Abortion surveillance in the United States continues to provide the data necessary for examining trends in numbers and characteristics of women who obtain legal induced abortions and to increase understanding of this pregnancy outcome. Policymakers and program planners use these data to improve the health and well-being of women and infants.

NOTE: For 2004, CDC compiled data that were voluntarily provided from 49 reporting areas in the United States: 47 states (excluding California, New Hampshire, and West Virginia), the District of Columbia (DC), and New York City (NYC)…four states (Alaska, California, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma) did not report abortion data for 1998–1999, three states (Alaska, California, and New Hampshire) did not report data for 2000–2002, and three states (California, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) did not report data for 2003–2004.

Data for California and Oklahoma were estimated before 1998; however, data for nonreporting states have not been estimated since then.

Thus, 839,226 abortions are recorded by CDC for 2004; excluding all the occasional states – AK, CA, NH, OK, and WV- 830,577 abortions are recorded by CDC for 2004.

…In addition, the abortion total for 2000 provided to CDC by central health agencies are 20% lower than that reported for 2000 (the most recent year for which data are available) for the same reporting areas by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a private organization that contacts abortion providers directly (64). 

Overall, the annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States increased gradually from 1973 until it peaked in 1990, and it generally declined thereafter (Fig

ure 1). 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 (Tables 1 and 2).

Nationally, in 2004: 

Women 19 and under obtained 17.4% of the abortions

Women 20-24 obtained 32.8% of the abortions in 2004

54.1% of the women were White, and 38.2% of the women were Black

Unmarried women obtained 82.8% of the abortions

Women having no previous live births composed 41.0% of all abortions

Abortions performed at or over 21 weeks (5 months, 1 week — late term) gestation occurred in 1.4% of the abortions in 2004.

In 2004, for women from areas where weeks of gestation at the time of abortion were adequately reported (44 reporting areas), 61% of reported legal induced abortions were known to have been obtained at <8 weeks' gestation and 87% at <12 weeks (Table 6). Overall (41 reporting areas), 28% of abortions were known to have been performed at <6 weeks' gestation, 18% at 7 weeks, and 15% at 8 weeks (Table 7).

Few reported abortions were known to have occurred after 15 weeks' gestation: 3.7% at 16–20 weeks and 1.3% at >21 weeks…

For the 35 areas that reported medical abortions separately, 66,033 medical abortion procedures were performed in 2004. Eight states reported that no medical abortions were performed in 2004 but did not specify whether such abortions were available. For the 32 reporting areas that reported one or more medical abortion for both 2003 and 2004, the data reflect an increase of 17%, from 54,703 in 2003 to 63,975 in 2004 (8)…

For women who obtained an abortion and whose number of previous abortions were adequately reported (41 reporting areas), 54% (53.7%)were reported to have obtained an abortion for the first time, 25.2% were reported to have obtained one previous abortion, and 19% were reported to have had at least two previous abortions (Table 13).

In 1972, 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. At most, two illegal abortion deaths have occurred in any year since 1979. In 2003, 10 women died from causes known to be associated with legal induced abortions, and none died as a result of known illegal induced abortion. Of the 10 legal induced abortion-related deaths identified in 2003, four occurred following a medical (nonsurgical) abortion procedure. Two of these cases have been described previously (62).

This is the first year for which maternal deaths related to medical abortion procedures have been identified. Approximately one in five U.S. pregnancies have ended in abortion according to a national sample survey conducted by AGI during 2001–2002 among women having abortions (64).

Inconsistent method use of the oral contraceptives (75.9%) or condoms (49.3%) was the most common reason that women became pregnant and obtained abortions (22 – Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Contraceptive use among U.S. women having abortions in 2000–2001. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 2002;34:294–303).

Entire report:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5609a1.htm?s_cid=ss5609a1_eLilo 


T. Strauss, MA, Sonya B. Gamble, MS, Wilda Y. Parker,Douglas A. Cook, MBIS, Suzanne B. Zane, DVM, Saeed Hamdan, MD, PhDDivision of Reproductive HealthNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionThe material in this report originated in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Janet Collins, PhD, Director; and the Division of Reproductive Health, John Lehnherr, Acting Director.Corresponding address: CDC/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/Division of Reproductive Health, 1600 Clifton Rd., NE, MS K-21, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: [email protected]

[CDC, MMWR Surveillance Summaries, November 23, 2007 / 56(SS09);1-33
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5609a1.htm?s_cid=ss5609a1_eLilo