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Abortion Statistics

 

Abortion Statistics for the United States

According to the latest estimates from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.06 million abortions performed during 2011 in the United States. That figure is down 34.2 percent from their high in 1990, when an estimated 1.61 million abortions were peformed.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also monitors abortions in the United States. Since 1997, they have received incomplete results or no abortion statistics from various states including Maryland, California, and New Hampshire. The latest figures from the CDC were 730,332 abortions in 2011.

According to the CDC, at least 46.3 percent of the women who had abortions in 2011 had obtained an abortion previously in their life. At least 20.8 percent of women who aborted had two or more previous abortions.

In 2011, 37.3 percent of abortions were performed on African-American women, who comprise only 12.6 percent of the U.S. population according to the 2010 census.

For further statistics from the CDC, click here.

 

Abortion Statistics from the Michigan Department of Community Health

A total of 26,120 induced abortions were reported in Michigan in 2013, which was a 12.4 percent increase from the total of 23,230 reported in 2012 but a 46.8 percent decrease since 1987 (the year with the largest number of induced abortions).   (See Number, Ratio and Rate of Reported Induced Abortions Occurring in Michigan, 1980 - 2013.)

In 2013, about 49% of the resident women receiving abortions had no previous induced abortions. In general, from 1985 through 2013, a gradual increase has been observed with the proportion of women reporting two or more induced abortions, going from 14.6 percent in 1985 to 25.1 percent in 2013. The proportion of women who had no previous induced abortion has been generally declining, falling from 59.5 percent in 1985 to 48.9 percent in 2013.

  

The majority of Michigan residents receiving induced abortions (48.2 percent) were under 25 years of age, while 12.2 percent were less than 20 years old. These are much smaller proportions than the 64.6 and 30.6 percent observed, respectively, in 1985. (See Characteristics of Reported Induced Abortions, 1985 - 2013.)

 

Abortion Myths

Abortion advocates often use a coat hanger to symbolize the "age of back-alley abortions" where women were forced to seek abortions from "unqualified butchers." The number of women who died from illegal "back-alley" abortions was often said to be in the thousands. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics, there were only 39 women who died from illegal abortions in 1972.

To describe illegal abortion providers as unqualified is hardly accurate. Former medical director of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Mary Calderone, described in a 1960 American Journal of Health article that a study in 1958 showed that 84 percent to 87 percent of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians in good standing. Dr. Calderone concluded that "90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently done by physicians." So it seems that the "back-alley butchers" of January 21, 1973, became "caring doctors who believe in a woman's right to choose" on January 22, 1973.

In 1978, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology stated the legalization of abortion "has had no major impact on the number of women dying from abortion" since the results of a study they completed showed that over 90 percent of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians.

Abortion advocates will also claim that a million American women each year were undergoing illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that these statements are highly misleading. The CDC reports that after abortion was legalized in January of 1973, there were 615,831 legal abortions. In 1976 when there were 988,267 abortions. There weren't over a million legal abortions a year in the United States until the end of 1977, five years after abortion was made legal in all states.

Abortion was legal in a handful of states (New York, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, New Jersey, Vermont, and California) before Roe v. Wade and the CDC reports that there were 586,760 legal abortions in 1972.

 

Consequences of Abortion

Advocates of abortion claimed that if abortion became legal, child abuse would become less frequent. The National Incidence Study from the National Clearing House estimates that 1,553,800 children in the United States were abused or neglected under the Harm Standard in 1993. This same study estimated that in 1980 there were 625,100 abused or neglected children. This is an increase of more than 148 percent.

Numerous published scientific studies have found that women who abort a child, especially their first child, have a greater risk of getting breast cancer.

One study found that at least 19 percent of women who abort suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (Barnhard, C., The Long-Term Psychological Effects of Abortion, 1990).

In a 1996 study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that women who had an abortion were 3 times more likely than the general population and 6 times more likely than women who gave birth, to commit suicide in the following year.

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