Background

Little is known about the characteristics of second-trimester abortion patients.

Study Design

Data come from a national sample of 9493 women obtaining abortions in 2008. Chi-square statistics and logistic regression were used to examine demographic characteristics of women having abortions at 13 or more weeks since last menstrual period (LMP) and women having abortions at 13–15 weeks LMP compared to 16+ weeks LMP.

Results

In 2008, 10.3% of abortions in the United States were 13 weeks LMP or later, including 4.0% at 16+ weeks. Groups most likely to have abortions at 13 weeks or later included black women, women with less education, those using health insurance to pay for the procedure and those who had experienced three or more disruptive events in the last year. Groups more likely to have an abortion at 16 weeks or later included black women, higher income women and those paying with health insurance.

Conclusions

Black women and those with less education would most benefit from increased availability of first-trimester abortion services.