General Information / History / Stats / Types

CDC Reports Decline in Abortions Nationwide (2015)

CDC: Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2011:  See Summary Excerpt & Link Below


The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a surveillance study of national abortion numbers: “Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2011.”  [ed. 2011 is the latest year for available statistics.]

Conducting national, abortion prevalence surveys since 1969, the CDC studied abortion and natality statistics from most states spanning the years 2002 to 2011 in order to compile this report. [ed. Not every state reports, including California; so actual numbers are elusive.]

Evident in this report, is the overall decline in abortion numbers as well as its decreased prevalence among younger women. Notwithstanding the hard fact that over 730,322 preborn children have persished in their mother’s womb due to elective abortion in 2011 alone, this number has been decreasing since 2002. Good news, which will hopefully only bode truer as the pro-life movement progresses and takes more cultural ground.

In this study the CDC revealed that “according to the most recent national estimates, 18% of all pregnancies in the United States end in abortion.” Horrible, yes, but there is a silver-lining. This percentage-estimate is lower than it has been since 2002.

What is the conclusion of the CDC’s report? — “historic lows for all three measures of abortion [e.g. number, ratio, and rate of reported abortions].”

Certainly a good trend, this fact is worthy of celebration, but it also presents a call for personal reinvigoration and resolution to promote respect for preborn life as well as maternal aid for women in need. 730,322, a numbing figure, though smaller than other national estimates from previous years this millenium, still does not include the thousands of other lives lost to this holocaust in back-alley facilities across the U.S. and the untold millions exterminated globally every year.

[ed. It also does not include very early abortions from chemical abortifacients more commonly considered birth control, such as Plan B, IUDs, ella, and even many forms of the Pill.]

This report should be a source of some encouragement for our pro-life generation, but it also serves as a clear call to action to help our peers and the generation after us confront the atrocity of abortion.

We may be a more pro-life generation than our predecessors, having the opinion polls and national abortion stats to prove it; yet there is so much further real pro-lifers can go—must go—will go!

What we can do best is reach out to the women who find themselves struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. These women are all around us, at our work-places, in our neighborhoods, in our schools… Our first priority is making sure they have all the information, material aid, and social support they can use to consider either parenthood or adoption as their best option.

SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative —  — offers a resource database that is an incredible resource for pregnant students, connecting them to the appropriate organizations, according to their school location and personal need. Explore the abundance of resources there and refer it to those looking for help.
[9 Jan 2015, ]


CDC: Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2011

Description of System: Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies of 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City). This report is based on abortion data for 2011 that were provided voluntarily to CDC by the central health agencies of 49 reporting areas (the District of Columbia; New York City; and 47 states, excluding California, Maryland, and New Hampshire). Data were obtained every year during 2002–2011 from 46 reporting areas (excluding Alaska, California, Louisiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) and were used for trend analyses. Census and natality data, respectively, were used to calculate abortion rates (number of abortions per 1,000 women) and ratios (number of abortions per 1,000 live births).

Results: A total of 730,322 abortions were reported to CDC for 2011. Of these abortions, 98.3% were from the 46 reporting areas that provided data every year during 2002–2011. Among these same 46 reporting areas, the abortion rate for 2011 was 13.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 219 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2010 to 2011, the total number and rate of reported abortions decreased 5% and the abortion ratio decreased 4%, and from 2002 to 2011, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 13%, 14%, and 12%, respectively. In 2011, all three measures reached their lowest level for the entire period of analysis (2002–2011).

In 2011 and throughout the period of analysis, women in their 20s accounted for the majority of abortions and had the highest abortion rates, and women in their 30s and older accounted for a much smaller percentage of abortions and had lower abortion rates. In 2011, women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years accounted for 32.9% and 24.9% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 24.9 and 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years, respectively. In contrast, women aged 30–34, 35–39, and =40 years accounted for 15.8%, 8.9%, and 3.6% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 12.7, 7.5, and 2.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 30–34 years, 35–39 years, and =40 years, respectively. Throughout the period of analysis, abortion rates decreased among women aged 20–24 and 25–29 years by 21% and 16%, respectively, whereas they increased among women aged =40 years by 8%.

In 2011, adolescents aged <15 and 15–19 years accounted for 0.4% and 13.5% of all abortions, respectively, and had abortion rates of 0.9 and 10.5 abortions per 1,000 adolescents aged <15 and 15–19 years, respectively. From 2002 to 2011, the percentage of abortions accounted for by adolescents aged 15–19 years decreased 21% and their abortion rate decreased 34%. These decreases were greater than the decreases for women in any older age group.

In contrast to the percentage distribution of abortions and abortion rates by age, abortion ratios in 2011 and throughout the entire period of analysis were highest among adolescents and lowest among women aged 30–39 years. Abortion ratios decreased from 2002 to 2011 for women in all age groups except for those aged <15 years, for whom they increased.

In 2011, most (64.5%) abortions were performed by =8 weeks’ gestation, and nearly all (91.4%) were performed by =13 weeks’ gestation. Few abortions (7.3%) were performed between 14–20 weeks’ gestation or at =21 weeks’ gestation (1.4%). From 2002 to 2011, the percentage of all abortions performed at =8 weeks’ gestation increased 6%.

In 2011, among reporting areas that included medical (nonsurgical) abortion on their reporting form, a total of 71.0% of abortions were performed by curettage at =13 weeks’ gestation, 19.1% were performed by early medical abortion (a nonsurgical abortion at =8 weeks’ gestation), and 8.6% were performed by curettage at >13 weeks’ gestation; all other methods were uncommon. Among abortions performed at =8 weeks’ gestation that were eligible for early medical abortion on the basis of gestational age, 28.5% were completed by this method. The percentage of abortions reported as early medical abortions increased 3% from 2010 to 2011…

…The adolescent abortion trends described in this report are important for monitoring progress that has been made toward reducing adolescent pregnancies in the United States. During 1990–2009, the pregnancy rate for adolescents aged 15–19 years decreased 44% to an historic low (39). This decrease was associated with substantial decreases in both the rate of live births (58%) and abortions (60%) among adolescents (39). More recent data indicate that the birth rate for adolescents aged 15–19 years decreased by a further 22% from 2010 to 2013 (40–43). The 10% decrease from 2010 to 2011 in the adolescent abortion rate suggests that adolescent pregnancies in the United States are continuing to decrease and that this decrease continues to be accompanied by substantial decreases in adolescent abortions and live births…

To view multitudes of charts and graphs, visit
[November 28, 2014 / 63(SS11);1-41, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Surveillance Summaries, ]