Abortion Statistics

Abortion Statistics

Incidence of Abortion Worldwide

The number of induced abortions in 2003 was 42 million which declined from 46 million performed in 1999. Approximately 20% of pregnancies end in abortion. This decline was greater in developed countries than in undeveloped countries (26 per thousand vs 29 per thousand). 35 million abortions occur in developing countries versus 7 million in developed countries. Learn Women’s Center’s Abortion facts for information about abortion statistics and laws in the United States of America…

Incidence of Abortion in the United States

Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.  Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 69% among blacks and 54% among Hispanics are unintended.

In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000.  From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions were performed. Each year, about 2% of women aged 15-44 have an abortion; 47% of them have had at least one previous abortion.

At least half of all American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45 and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion. Over 88% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Over half of all abortions in the U.S. occur within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. 6.7% occur between 13 and 15 weeks,  3.5% occur between 16 and 20 weeks, and 1.1% of abortions occur at 21 weeks or greater.

The number of abortions has declined from a peak of 29.3 per 1000 women aged 15-44 in 1979 to 19.4 per thousand today. It has only slowly dropped over the last several years because poor women have not had access to Family Planning Facilities for education and prevention of pregnancy through effective birth control measures.  So the incidence of becoming pregnant has drastically increased.

Who Has Abortion?

Fifty percent of U.S. women obtaining an abortion are younger than 25:  Women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17%. Thirty-seven percent of abortions occur with black women, 34% to non-Hispanic white women, 22% to Hispanic women and 8% to women of other races.

Women who obtain abortion represent every religious affiliation. Thirteen percent of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians. Forty-three percent of women obtaining abortion identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic. Most women receiving abortion (83%) are unmarried. Women who have never married obtain two-thirds of all abortions. Sixteen percent are women who are separated, divorced, or widowed. Married women are significantly less likely than unmarried women to resolve unintended pregnancies through abortion.

About 60% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children. The abortion rate among women living below the federal poverty level ($9,570.) is per woman (below 100% of poverty) is nearly four times that of women above 200% of poverty (112 vs. 29 per 1000 women).

The decision to have an abortion is rarely simple. The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.

Lack of money ranks very high on the decision for terminating a pregnancy.  Many feel the responsible course of action is to wait until their situation is more suited to childrearing; 66% plan to have children when they are older, financially able to provide necessities for them, and/or in a supportive relationship with a partner so their children will have two parents. Others wanted to get pregnant and developed serious medical problems, learned that the fetus had severe abnormalities, or experienced some other personal crisis. Each year, about 13,000 women have abortions because they became pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

Only 1% of women say they are being forced or pressured into having an abortion.  There are some women who do not want to continue their pregnancy but are pressured to do so by family members, friends, or fear of social stigma.  Pre-abortion counseling is designed to determine whether a woman is fully comfortable with her abortion decision, and if she is not, she is encouraged to wait until she has had a chance to consider her options more fully.

Most women do not later regret the decision that they terminated their pregnancy.  Relief is the most common emotional response following abortion, and psychological distress appears to be felt the greatest before, rather than after, an abortion.

There are undoubtedly some women who, in hindsight, wish that they had made a different choice and the majority would prefer never to have become pregnant when the circumstances were not right for them. When a wanted pregnancy is ended (for medical reasons) women may experience a sense of loss and grief.  As with any major change or decision involving loss, a crisis later in life sometimes leads to a temporary resurfacing of sad feelings surrounding the abortion. Women at risk for poor post-abortion adjustment are those who do not get the support they need, or whose abortion decisions are actively opposed by people who are important to them.

Contraceptive Use

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.  No contraceptive method prevents pregnancy 100% of the time.

Forty-six percent of women who have an abortion had not used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. Of these women, 33% had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy, 32% had concerns about contraceptive methods, 26% had unexpected sex and 1% had been forced to have sex. Eight percent of women who have an abortion have never used a method of birth control; non-use is greatest among those who are young, poor, black, Hispanic or less educated.

About half of unintended pregnancies occur among the 11% of women who are at risk for unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. Most of these women have practiced contraception in the past.

Most women who have an abortion have not had one previously (52%) or only one previous abortion (26%).  If women used abortion as their primary method of birth control, they would be getting pregnant 2 or 3 times a year. With nearly 30 years of possibly becoming pregnant abortion can’t be used as any woman’s primary source of birth control. There is also a very high likelihood of having one or two unintended pregnancies over a thirty-year period of time.

Safety of Abortion

The risk of complications with abortion is minimal. Fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients experience a complication that requires hospitalization.

Abortions performed in the first trimester pose virtually no long-term risk of problems such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or birth defect, and little or no risk of preterm or low-birth-weight deliveries.

Exhaustive reviews by a panel convened by the U.S. and British governments have concluded that there is no association between abortion and breast cancer. There is also no indication that abortion is a risk factor for other cancers.

The risk of death associated with abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from one death for every one million abortions at or before eight weeks to one per 29,000 at 16-20 weeks, and once per 11,000 at 21 or more weeks.

Fifty-eight percent of abortion patients say they would have liked to have their abortion earlier. Nearly 60% of women who experienced a delay in obtaining an abortion cite the reasons were the time it took to make arrangements and raise money.

Teens are more likely than older women to delay having an abortion until 15 weeks of pregnancy when the medical risks associated with abortion are significantly higher.

A patient may request an exclusive or private appointment with Dr. Pendergraft by contacting him by E-mail preferable: Drpendergraft@gmail.com or call him directly at 321-445-2545 or call office location nearest you by clicking locations. Same-day appointments can be arranged.

For further information including family planning, please visit our premiere website.

Dr James S Pendergraft |  Orlando Women’s Center |  Abortion Pill Clinic

Legal Abortion By Pill Clinic
Offering Medical and Surgical Abortion
3 to 24 Weeks

Abortion Services

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