Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 
STATE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROFILE

Alabama

NATIONAL BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Despite the demonstrable importance and ubiquity of contraception, the truth is that ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted and planned is difficult, at both the individual and the societal levels. For the typical American woman to have two children, she will spend about five years pregnant, postpartum or attempting to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid pregnancy. Not all women, however, are successful: About half of all pregnancies in the United States each year—more than three million of them—are unintended. By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at 2008 rates about three in ten will have had an abortion. Nonetheless, contraceptive use can and does dramatically reduce women's odds of having an unintended pregnancy.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • In 2010, there were 1,022,450 women of reproductive age (aged 13-44) in Alabama, 542,770 of whom were in need of contraceptive services and supplies. Of these:
    • AGE: 79,420 were under the age of 20 and 463,400 were aged 20-44.
    • INCOME: Among women aged 20-44, 104,590 were below 100% of the federal poverty level.
    • RACE/ETHNICITY: 332,230 were non-Hispanic white; 167,020 were non-Hispanic black; and 23,050 were Hispanic.
  • In 2010, there were 320,280 women in Alabama in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies. Of these, 79,420 were in need of publicly supported services because they were sexually active teenagers, and 240,860 because they had incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level.
  • In 2012-2013, 20% of women aged 15-44 in Alabama were uninsured, while 16% were enrolled in Medicaid.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

PREGNANCIES, BIRTHS AND ABORTIONS

  • In 2011, there were 81,700 pregnancies to the 959,278 women of reproductive age (15-44) in Alabama; 73% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 12% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 52% of pregnancies in Alabama were unintended. There were 46,000 unintended pregnancies to women in Alabama, producing a rate of 48 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • Of all unintended pregnancies in Alabama in 2008, 63% resulted in live births and 23% resulted in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 65% of births in Alabama resulting from unintended pregnancies were publicly funded, compared with 51% of all births and 39% of births resulting from intended pregnancies.
  • Of the 32,900 publicly funded births in Alabama in 2008, 18,900 resulted from unintended pregnancies.
  • Births resulting from unintended pregnancies in Alabama accounted for $178 million in public costs in 2008, including $120 million in federal costs and $58 million in state costs.
  • In 2011, 9,550 women obtained abortions in Alabama, producing a rate of 10 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Some of these women were from other states, and some Alabama residents had abortions in other states, so this rate may not reflect the abortion rate of state residents. The rate declined 15% since 2008, when it was 11.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Alabama represents 0.9% of all abortions in the United States.
  • In 2010, 11,020 Alabama residents obtained abortions, producing a rate of 11.5 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • In 2010 , there were 10,460 pregnancies to Alabama teens aged 15-19; 83% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 17% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 1,500 teens obtained abortions in Alabama, producing a rate of 9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-19.
  • In 2011, there were 8 abortion providers in Alabama; 7 of those were clinics. This represents a 0% increase in overall providers and a 14% decrease in clinics from 2008, when there were 8 abortion providers overall, of which 7 were abortion clinics.
  • In 2011, 93% of Alabama counties had no abortion clinic; 59% of Alabama women lived in these counties.

For more information, see State Facts About Abortion

PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • In 2010 in Alabama, 168 safety net health centers provided contraceptive care to 115,460 women—including 28,400 teenagers.
  • Safety net health centers in Alabama served 36% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2010.
  • In Alabama, $147 in public funds was spent on contraceptive services and supplies per woman in need in 2010.
  • In Alabama, 80 safety net health centers that received some support through the federal Title-X family planning program provided contraceptive care to 103,660 women—including 25,520 teenagers in 2010.
  • Title-X-supported centers in Alabama served 32% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2010.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

IMPACT OF PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • Publicly funded family planning services help women to avoid pregnancies they do not want and to plan pregnancies they do. In 2010, these services helped women in Alabama avoid 28,900 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 14,300 unintended births and 9,900 abortions.
  • Contraceptive services provided at Title X-supported centers in Alabama helped prevent 25,900 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 12,800 unintended births and 8,800 abortions.
  • The services provided at publicly funded family planning centers in Alabama saved the federal and state governments $92,000,000 in 2010.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

STATE POLICIES

Policy Summary Table, as of July 1st, 2014

ABORTION
Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe v. Wade
Pre-Roe abortion ban still in place
Abortion Counseling and Waiting Periods
Mandated counseling includes information designed to discourage abortion
State imposes waiting period between counseling and abortion 48 hours
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
Parent must consent to an abortion One parent
Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
No policy in effect 
Public Funding of Abortion for Poor Women
Public funding is available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest Only life, rape or incest.
Refusal Clauses for Abortion Services
No policy in effect 
ADOLESCENTS
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
Minors of a certain age explicitly permitted to consent Minors 14 years of age and older
Minors' Consent to STI Services
All or some minors explicitly permitted to consent Minors 12 years of age and older
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
Parent must consent to an abortion One parent
Sex Education
Sex education must either stress or cover abstinence Stress
Sex education must cover contraception
State mandates STI/HIV education
STI/HIV education must either stress or cover abstinence Stress
STI/HIV education must cover contraception
CONTRACEPTION SERVICES AND FINANCING
Emergency Contraception in Emergency Rooms
No policy in effect 
Private Insurance Coverage of Contraceptive Services
No policy in effect 
Medicaid Family Planning Expansions
Eligibility for Medicaid family planning based on income 133% Federal Poverty Level
Contraceptive Access in Pharmacies
No policy in effect 
Refusal Clauses for Contraceptive Services
No policy in effect 
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
Minors of a certain age explicitly permitted to consent Minors 14 years of age and older

For more information, see State Policies in Brief