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Abortion in the United States

To set up an interview with one of our experts, contact Rebecca Wind at 212-248-1953 or mediaworks@guttmacher.org

Quick Stats

• Half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about four in 10 of these end in abortion.[1]

• About half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, [2] and nearly 3 in 10 will have an abortion, by age 45.[3]

• The overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate increased slightly between 1994 and 2008, but unintended pregnancy increased 55% among poor women, while decreasing 24% among higher-income women.[1,6]

• Overall, the abortion rate decreased 8% between 2000 and 2008, but abortion increased 18% among poor women, while decreasing 28% among higher-income women.[3]

• Some 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011, down from 1.21 million abortions in 2008, a decline of 13%.[4]

• The number of U.S. abortion providers declined 4% between 2008 (1,793) and 2011 (1,720). The number of clinics providing abortion services declined 1%, from 851 to 839. Eighty-nine percent of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion clinic in 2011; 38% of women live in those counties.[4]

• Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.[5]

• A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions:[3]

  • 58% are in their 20s;
  • 61% have one or more children;
  • 56% are unmarried and not cohabiting;
  • 69% are economically disadvantaged; and
  • 73% report a religious affiliation.

REFERENCES

Fact Sheets

Abortion in the United States

State Facts About Abortion

An Overview of Abortion Laws in the States