Did You Know?

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 Here are references for these and many more important facts:

United States Abortion Statistics


  • More than 1 out of 3 (35%) American women will have had an abortion by age 45.
    -Johnston, W. R., 4 June 2008, “Historical abortion statistics: United States,” online, Johnston’s Archive.
  • Seven out of ten Americans believe abortion should remain safe and legal and that support continues to increase.
    Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for NARAL August 2014, http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/assets/download-files/naral-7in10.pdf
  • Half of all women getting abortions report that contraception was used during the month they became pregnant. Jones RK, Frohwirth L and Moore AM, More than poverty: disruptive events among women having abortions in the USAJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2012, 39(1):36–43.
  • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.
    -Jones RK, Finer LB and Singh S, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010. Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantitative and qualitative perspectives, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118.
  • 88% of abortions occur in the first trimester.
    Perspectives on Sexual Reproductive Health. 2011 Mar;43(1):41-50. doi: 10.1363/4304111. Epub 2011
  • Women are 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth [as a result of birth] than to die from complications arising from an abortion.
    Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2004, 103(4):729–737.
  • 42% of abortions are sought by women living below ! the poverty line.
    Characteristics of U.S. abortion patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010.
  • 95% of women who had abortions felt, in retrospect, that it was the right decision.
    Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 45: 122–131. DOI: 10.1363/4512213
  • Less than 1.5% of abortions occur after 20 weeks.
    -Guttmacher Institute, In Brief: Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States, Aug. 2011
  • The risk of death associated with abortion is low, but increases with the length of pregnancy:  One death for every one million abortions at or before eight weeks to one per 29,000 at 16–20 weeks—and one per 11,000 at 21 weeks or later.
    Bartlett LA et al., Risk factors for legal induced abortion-related mortality in the United States, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2004, 103(4):729–737.
  • It is estimated that before 1973, 1.2 million U.S. women resorted to illegal abortion each year and that unsafe illegal abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths.
    -NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Safety of Legal Abortion and the Hazards of Illegal Abortion. 1 Jan. 2014.
  • 37% of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant and 28% identify as Catholic.
    -Jones RK, Finer LB and Singh S, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010.
  • 21% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.
    -Jones RK and Jerman J, Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2011, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2014, 46(1):3-14.
  • A first-trimester abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with minimal risk—less than 0.05%—of major complications that might need hospital care.
    -Weitz TA et al., Safety of aspiration abortion performed by nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants under a California legal waiver, American Journal of Public Health, 2013, 103(3):454–461.
  • As of January 1, 2014, at least half of the states have imposed excessive and unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics, mandated counseling designed to dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion, required a waiting period before an abortion, required parental involvement before a minor obtains an abortion, or prohibited the use of state Medicaid funds to pay for medically necessary abortions.
    Guttmacher Institute, State Policies in Brief, 2014.
  • Of the women obtaining abortions in 2000, 57% had some college education, 88% were from metropolitan areas, and 57% were low-income.
    Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000-2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2002; 34: 226-235.
  • Abortion does not cause either depression or low self-esteem. Additionally, studies conclude that laws mandating that women consider abortion be advised of its psychological risks may jeopardize women’s health by adding unnecessary anxiety and undermining women’s right to informed consent.
    -Jocelyn T. Warren, S. Marie Harvey, and Jillian T. Henderson, Do Depression and Low Self-Esteem  Follow Abortion Among Adolescents? Evidence from a National Survey, 42 PERSPECTIVES ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH 230, 234 (2010).