Number of Abortions since Legalized
In the 1980s, the population of women of reproductive age grew faster than the abortion rate declined, so the annual number of abortions performed did not peak until 1990 with about 1.6 million abortions. The number of abortions generally decreased from 1991 to 2017 and increased thereafter. The largest percentage decline in abortions occurred in 2013, the year the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act came into effect for most health insurance plans. In 2017, about 860,000 abortions were performed, in 2020, there were about 930,000. In the District of Columbia and 47 states that reported data to the CDC in 2019, the majority of women who had abortions (57%) were 20 years old, while about three in ten (31%) were 30 years old. Adolescent girls aged 13 to 19 accounted for 9 per cent of those who had had an abortion, while women aged 40 accounted for 4 per cent. The Guttmacher Institute told PolitiFact that it had not compiled the total number of legal abortions performed since 1973, but had estimated pregnancy, birth and abortion rates among women aged 15 to 44 from 1973 to 2017. The JPSA results also showed that dilation and evacuation (D&E) was safer than intraamniotic instillation of abortifacients to induce abortion at 13 weeks` gestation or later;24 hence the strict concept of “quarterly threshold” underlying Roe v. The Wade decision became irrelevant.25* According to Roe v. Wade, JPSA concluded that surgical evacuation is the safest method of abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The proportion of second-trimester abortions performed by D&E subsequently increased to more than 90% in the 1990s.26 D&E not only made abortions safer, but also reduced costs, minimized inconvenience, and made second-trimester abortions less emotionally traumatic for women. Every three years, the Guttmacher Institute contacts all known entities that offer abortions in the United States to gather information on service delivery, including the total number of abortions. The most recent census of abortion providers was completed in May 2022, and the data represents 1,687 health care facilities that performed abortions in 2019 or 2020.
The Fox News article cited an analysis by the National Committee for the Right to Life as the source of the estimated 63 million abortions over the past 49 years. The NRLC says it made this estimate based on data from the Guttmacher Institute and CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 629,898 abortions took place in 2019. The CDC collects data from state health departments that voluntarily provide the information. This 2019 total does not include data from California, Maryland or New Hampshire. Initial surveillance efforts documented the number and characteristics of women who have legally undergone forced abortions. Between 1966 and 1969, 11 states, including California, liberalized their abortion laws.4 However, these changes had minimal impact on the reported number of legal abortions: fewer than 25,000 legal abortions were reported to the CDC in 1969.5 After abortion was legalized in New York State in 1970 and several other states between 1970 and 1973, The annual number of legally induced abortions has increased significantly. especially in New York and California.
For example, 586,760 legal abortions were performed in 1972, more than 20 times the number reported three years earlier.6 Data on abortions for the last four years reported by the Guttmacher Institute are listed below. The abortion rate is the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies that end in an abortion or live birth. From 2017 to 2020, the abortion rate increased by 6.7%.  The last year for which the CDC reported an annual national total for abortions was 2019. The agency says there were 629,898 abortions nationwide this year, up from just over 619,591 in 2018. Guttmacher`s latest available figures are from 2020, when there were 930,160 abortions nationwide, up from 916,460 in 2019. “In its twin decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rendered on January 22, 1973, the court legalized abortion for whatever reason,” said Carol Tobias, president of the NRLC. “Tragically, 49 years later, National Right to Life estimates that more than 63 million unborn children have lost their lives as a result of these decisions.” In some states — including Illinois, Mississippi and Oklahoma — there has been a significant increase in abortions. In others, such as Missouri, Oregon and South Dakota, there were far fewer abortions in 2020 than in 2017. The CDC data highlighted in this post comes from the agency`s “abortion surveillance” reports, which have been published annually since 1974 (and include data dating back to 1969).
Figures from 1973 to 1996 include data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and New York City – a total of 52 “reporting areas.” Since 1997, CDC totals have lacked data from some states (notably California) for years in which those states did not report data to the agency. The three reporting areas that did not submit data to the CDC in 2019 — California, Maryland and New Hampshire — accounted for about 19 percent of all abortions in the U.S. in 2017, according to Guttmacher data. Thus, most states have data in the reports, and the figures for the vast majority of them came from each state`s central health agency, while for some states, the figures came from hospitals and other medical facilities. In 2017, there were 1,587 installations in the United States. According to Guttmacher, this has led to abortions. These included 808 clinics, 518 hospitals and 261 doctors` offices. The proportion of reported abortions performed on women outside their state of residence was much higher before the 1973 Roe decision, which prevented states from banning abortions. In 1972, 41% of all abortions in D.C.