CDC Says the US Abortion Rate is the Lowest in Decades  

The number and rate of abortions tallied by the federal authorities have fallen to their lowest level in decades, according to new data released to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

The latest annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with data from 47 states, said that the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44 years. That is down 5% from 2012, and it is half the rate of 25 recorded back in 1980.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began abortion surveillance reports in 1969 to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions. Many states conduct abortion surveillance. CDC compiles the information that states collect to produce national estimates. CDC’s surveillance system compiles information on legal induced abortions only.

The last time the CDC recorded a lower abortion rate was in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision that established a nationwide right for women to have abortions. Abortion was legal in some states at the time.

The CDC has tallied 664,435 abortions in 2013 from the 47 states, down 5 percent from 2012, and down 20 percent from 2004. The CDC does not receive abortion data from California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. And therefore its total is less than the widely accepted current estimate of more than 900,000 abortions per year in all 50 states.

In 1990, when California was providing the CDC with data, they recorded a peak of more than 1.4 million abortions.

The CDC’s latest findings are meshed with an Associated Press state-by-state survey that was conducted last year, with extensive data from 2014, showing that abortions had been on the decline in practically every state since 2010. There were big declines in conservative states, passing laws that restricted abortions and also in more liberal states that protected abortion rights.

The Center for Disease Control’s recent report suggests that there are several factors behind the abortion decline, including a sharp drop in adolescent pregnancies, the expanded coverage of contraception cots by health care plans, and the increased use of effective, long-lasting contraceptive methods such as hormonal implants and intrauterine devices.

Statistics for Abortions in the US

Among the CDC’s detailed findings:

  • Women in their 20s accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions and had the highest abortion rates. Young women and girls aged 19 and under accounted for 11.7 percent of abortions
  • Two-thirds of abortions were performed within the first eight weeks of gestation, and nearly 92 percent by 13 weeks. Only 1.3 percent were performed after 20 weeks — a point at which many anti-abortion activists want a federal abortion ban to be imposed. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to support such a ban if legislation reaches his desk.
  • State abortion rates varied widely, from 3.6 per 1,000 women age 15-44 in Mississippi to 24.3 in New York. Mississippi is among a handful of states with only one functioning abortion clinic.
  • Medical abortions — generally using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol — accounted for about 22 percent of abortions; surgical procedures accounted for nearly all the others.
  • About 15 percent of women who obtained an abortion were married. About 60 percent had previously given birth to at least one child.

According to the People Concerned for the Unborn Child website, the statistics on who has abortions are…

  • In 2009, 85% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women (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).
  • In 2009, 55.3% of abortions were performed on women who had not aborted in the past; 36.6% were performed on women with one or two prior abortions, and 8.1% were performed on women with three or more prior abortions (CDC).
  • Among women who obtained abortions in 2009, 40.2% had no prior live births; 46.3% had one or two prior live births, and 13.6% had three or more prior live births (CDC).
  • Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 33% of all abortions in 2009; women between 25-29 obtained 24% (CDC).
  • In 2009, women aged 20-29 years had the highest abortion rates (27.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20-24 years and 20.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25-29 years) (CDC).
  • 50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions and teenagers obtain 17% (AGI).
  • In 2009, adolescents under 15 years obtained .05% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio, 785 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
  • Black women are more than 4.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely (AGI).
  • 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% identi