Facts About Abortion
• Each year almost 50% of all pregnancies among American women are unintended.
• At least half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy by age 45.
• Poor women (those with incomes below the poverty level) are more likely to have an unintended pregnancy
- 42% of women obtaining abortions have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level ($10,830 for a single woman with no children).
- 27% of women obtaining abortions have incomes between 100–199% of the federal poverty level
• 3 in 10 women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45.
• In 2008, 1.21 million women in the U.S. chose to terminate their pregnancy using abortion, down from 1.31 million in 2000.
• Women have abortions at different times in their lives;
- 18% percent of American women obtaining abortions are teenagers
- Women in their 20s account for more than 50% of all abortions
- About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have 1 or more children
- Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions
• Women who have abortions are from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds.
- Non-Hispanic white women account for 36% of abortions, non-Hispanic black women for 30%, Hispanic women for 25% and women of other races for 9%
- 37% of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant and 28% identify as Catholic
• More than half (54%) of the women getting abortions reported that they used contraception during the month they became pregnant.
• The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life.
- 3/4 of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals
- 3/4 say they cannot afford a child
- 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents
- 1/2 of women say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner
• Abortions performed in the first trimester pose virtually no long-term risk of such problems as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or birth defect, and little or no risk of preterm or low-birth-weight deliveries.
• Fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients experience a complication that requires hospitalization.
• About 60% of women who experienced a delay in obtaining an abortion cite the time it took to make arrangements and difficulty finding funds as reasons for the delay.
• Teens are more likely than older women to delay having an abortion until after 15 weeks of pregnancy, when the medical risks associated with abortion are significantly higher.
* Source: Guttmacher Institute “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States” August 2011” http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html - 1