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Abortion Facts

Many people fail to appreciate the sheer magnitude of bloodshed, suffering, and death that legalized abortion has introduced into the human experience – both in the United States and worldwide. Far more human lives have been violently ended by this scourge than by any other war or genocide in all of history.

Unaware of just how early and rapidly prenatal human development occurs, many Americans believe that the law should not protect the lives of embryonic and fetal human beings in the first 3 months of pregnancy. However, a strong majority of Americans believe that abortion from the fourth month of pregnancy and on is an evil of such immensity that it is appropriate to ban it. But even the numbers of these second- and third-trimester abortions are alarmingly large.

The following facts on abortion are provided by the strongly pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Given the source of this information, it’s impossible for anyone to argue that these statistics are being stated misleadingly by biased pro-life advocates.

Click here for the Guttmacher Institute’s latest fact sheet on abortion.

The full study upon which much of the fact sheet is based is: “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005

89% of all abortions in the United States are performed in the first trimester of pregnancy:

10 Week Abortion Image

11% of all abortions in the United States are performed in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy:

24 Week Abortion Image

WORLDWIDE

Number of abortions per year: approximately 42 million
Number of abortions per day: approximately 115,000

Where abortions occur:
83% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 17% occur in developed countries.

© Copyright 1996-2008, The Guttmacher Institute. (http://www.agi-usa.org)

UNITED STATES

Number of abortions per year: 1.21 million (2005)
Number of abortions per day: approximately 3,315

Who’s having abortions (age)?

50% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions; teenagers obtain 17%; and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who’s having abortions (race)?

While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who’s having abortions (marital status)?

66% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; married women account for 18% of all abortions; and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who’s having abortions (religion)?

Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 43% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 27%; Jewish women account for 1.3%; and women with no religious affiliation obtain 24% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as born-again or Evangelical.

Who’s having abortions (income)?

Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 29% of all abortions; women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 20%; women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38%; and women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 14%.

Why women have abortions

1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems with either the mother or the child; and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (that is, the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed:
Abortion Pie Chart

61% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy; 18% happen between the 9th & 10th weeks; 9.6% happen between the 11th & 12th weeks; 6.7% happen between the 13th & 15th weeks; 3.5% happen between the 16th & 20th weeks; and 1.1% of all abortions (16,450/yr) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Abortion photos depicting the age ranges cited above can be viewed here: CBR Abortion Photos

Likelihood of abortion:

An estimated 35% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least 1 previous abortion.

Abortion coverage:

67% of all abortion facilities offer at least some abortion services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA, and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.

© Copyright 2005
© Copyright 1998, The Guttmacher Institute. (http://www.agi-usa.org)
© Copyright 1997, The Guttmacher Institute. (http://www.agi-usa.org)
© Copyright 1995, Family Planning Perspectives
© Copyright 1988, Family Planning Perspectives