Facts on Abortion

The CDC reports annually on the number of legal induced abortions in the U.S. Their information is based on voluntary reporting by states. In 2000, data were not provided by Alaska, California, and New Hampshire. (In previous years, California had the highest reported rates of all states.)

In 2000, 857,475 legal induced abortions were reported.

The survey reports that 14 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion in 1998 and 1999. The number of deaths in 2000 is not yet available. From 1973 to 1999 at least 327 women have died from legal induced abortion according to the study.

In the areas for which race was adequately reported, “the abortion rate for black women was 3.1 times the rate for white women.” In addition, “the abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 per live births) was three times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births).”

Multiple abortions are the norm, not the exception. According to the survey, where the “number of previous abortions was adequately reported,” 53% of women had an abortion for the first time in 2000. That means 47% of women having abortions in 2000 were not having their first abortion.

How many abortions do women have? The survey breaks it down by state, but stops counting at “3 or more previous legal induced abortions.” In 2000, Maryland had the highest percentage of women having their fourth (or more) abortion: 16.7%. New York City had the second highest ratio, with 14.7% of women having at least their fourth abortion in 2000.

Abortion rates vary significantly throughout the world. Among countries with comprehensive statistics, abortion rates per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1996 ranged from a low of 6.5 in the Netherlands to a high of 77.7 in Cuba. U.S. rates for that year (20.0-22.9) were inter-mediate, but higher than most other industrialized nations.