How many generations are really wiped out? If we really knew!
Current Abortion Statistics
While abortion is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States, nationally valid data is available from only two sources: the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute – a research affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Data from both sources is extremely limited.
The CDC provides an annual report of abortion statistics based on data voluntarily submitted to state health departments by abortion providers. Forty-five state health departments consistently report data on abortion; California, New Hampshire, Alaska, West Virginia and Oklahoma do not.1 Due to the fact that many states do not report complete data on all characteristics (e.g., age, race, and weeks’ of gestation), abortion statistics provided by the CDC may not be truly accurate.
The Guttmacher Institute provides a report of abortion statistics every four years based on direct survey responses from all known providers of abortion services in all fifty states.1 As a result, statistics on abortions reported by the Guttmacher Institute are generally accepted as more accurate than those reported by the CDC. However, all statistical reports from the Guttmacher Institute should be viewed and utilized in the context of their mission to advance abortion services.
The following statistics, graphs and charts are based on research published by the Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent figures available for incidence statistics are from 2005, with the latest demographic information from 2004.
Incidence of Abortion
In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed in the U.S. 2
From 1973 through 2005, more than 45 million abortions occurred in the U.S.2
The abortion ratio, the proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion, was 22.4. In other words, 22% of all pregnancies in the U.S. (excluding miscarriages) ended in abortion in 2005. 2.
The abortion rate, the number of abortions per a given subgroup, was 19.4 per 1,000 U.S. women aged 15-44.2.
Each year, about 2% of U.S. women aged 15–44 have an abortion; 47% of them have had at least one previous abortion.3.
50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25. Women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17%.4.
Black women are 4.8 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely.4
37.1% of all abortions are performed on black women who make up only 14% of the total population of U.S. women of child-bearing age. 5,6
54% of U.S. women who had an abortion in 2000-2001 had used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.7
1 “The Limitations of U.S. Statistics on Abortion,” Issues in Brief, The Alan Guttmacher Institute,14 (Jan. 1997): 1-4 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/ib14.pdf; visited March 18, 2009).
2 R.K. Jones et al., “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 40 (2008):6-16 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4000608.pdf; visited March 19, 2009).
3 R.K. Jones, J.E. Darroch and S.K. Henshaw, “Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000-2001,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 34 (2002):226-235 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3422602.html; visited March 19, 2009).
4 Distributions published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adjusted for year-to-year changes in the reporting states and applied to the total number of abortions in Jones RK et al. “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40 (2008):6-16.
5 S.K. Henshaw and K. Kost, “Trends in the Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions, 1974 to 2004,” New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2008 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2008/09/23/TrendsWomenAbortions-wTables.pdf; visited March 19, 2009).
6 J.L. Dye, “Fertility of American Women: June 2004”, Current Population Reports, Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 (http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p20-555.pdf; visited on March 19, 2009).
7 R.K. Jones, J.E. Darroch and S.K. Henshaw, “Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000-2001,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 34 (2002):294-303 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3429402.html; visited March 19, 2009).
8 L.B. Finer et al., “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37 (2005):110-118 (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf; visited March 19, 2009).
Strait’s song would be very appropriate if you exchanged the words “Music Row” with ABORTION ROW.
George Strait Lyrics
“Murder On Music Row”
Nobody saw him running from sixteenth avenue.
They never found the fingerprint or the weapon that was used.
But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul.
They got away with murder down on music row.
The almighty dollar and the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang (oh, you tell them Alan).
They all say not guilty, but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row.
For the steel guitars no longer cry and fiddles barely play,
But drums and rock ‘n roll guitars are mixed up in your face.
Old Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row.
They thought no one would miss it, once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinking and cheating songs (I’ll still buy ’em)
Well there ain’t no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder’s been committed down on music row.
Oh, the steel guitars no longer cry and you can’t hear fiddles play
With drums and rock ‘n roll guitars mixed right up in your face
Why, the Hag, he wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
Why, they even tell the Possum to pack up and go back home
There’s been an awful murder down on music row.