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Guttmacher Advisory, Updated June 2014

Claim that Most Abortion Clinics Are Located in Black or Hispanic Neighborhoods Is False

Background

Antiabortion activists often claim that most abortion clinics are located in predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhoods. However, this claim—offered as supposed proof that abortion providers “target” minority women—is false.

Key findings

  • About six in 10 abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are white.
  • Fewer than one in 10 abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are black.
  • Some 13% of abortion providers are located in neighborhoods where more than half of residents are Hispanic.

Definitions

This analysis categorizes abortion providers in two ways to offer the most comprehensive overview possible:

  • “All” comprises all 1,720 providers known to provide abortion care in 2011
  • “400+” comprises the 576 abortion providers that provided 400 or more abortions in 2011 (these facilities accounted for 33% of all providers and 92% of all abortions in 2011)

Methodology

Using the results of its most recent census of all known abortion providers in the United States, Guttmacher examined the racial and ethnic makeup of neighborhoods in which abortion providers were located in 2011 (the most recent year for which data are available). Neighborhood characteristics are based on information for each U.S. zip code from the 2007–2011 American Community Survey.

For further context

Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture

Health Disparities: More Context for Higher Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion Rates Among Women of Color