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Abortion data from reports of
the Alan Guttmacher Institute

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Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) abortion data:

The AGI is a non-profit group which was founded in 1968 by Alan F. Guttmacher (1898-1974). At the time, he was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, an obstetrician-gynecologist, an author and a leader in reproductive rights. It specializes in "reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education....The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation." 1 Although the AGI is a pro-choice group, its data is widely accepted as accurate and is used by both pro-choice and pro-life groups.

The AGI supplies information that is more current than the data from the the Division of Reproductive Health of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. They issued their report for the year 2002 in 2005-MAY.

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Data from the Institute's 2005-MAY report:

Their report issued on 2005-MAY-19 was based on 2001 & 2002 data. They found that the abortion rates in the U.S. continued to drop, although the rate of decrease has slowed since the early 1990s:

bullet The rate of abortion declined among women aged 15 to 44 from 21.3 in 2000 to 21.1 in 2001 and 20.9 in 2002 per 1000 women.
bullet The total numbers of abortions dropped from 1,313,999 in 2000 to 1,303,000 in 2001 and to 1,293,000 in 2002. These are decreases of 0.8% a year.

This compares with a rise in the number of abortions in the UK from 181,600 in 2003 to a record high of 185,400 in 2004 -- a 2% increase. Abortions for girls under 14 years of age increased by 6%. 6

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Pregnancy outcomes by state for 2001:

"Each year, six million of the 60 million American women of childbearing age (15-44) become pregnant. 63% of these pregnancies result in live births and 22% in abortions; the remainder end in miscarriage." These data refer only to known pregnancies. There are many early pregnancies that are terminated by miscarriages before the woman realizes that she had become pregnant.

Pregnancy outcomes by state and are listed below. 2 The percent of pregnancies that are terminated by abortion are influenced by many factors, including:

bullet The culture of the area
bullet Its religious makeup (Conservative Protestants tend to have fewer abortions; religious liberals, secularists, etc. tend to have more; Roman Catholics tend to have slightly higher rate of abortions than the national average.
bullet The availability of emergency contraception (a.k.a. Morning-after pill)
bullet The public awareness of the existence of emergency contraception
bullet The availability of abortion services, compared with adjacent states.
bullet Restrictions on abortion access (waiting times, parental notification, parental permission). When a state introduces restriction on access, their abortion rate tends to drop. However, the abortion rates in adjacent states tend to rise as women leave the state to have an abortion.
bullet The area's economy.
bullet Availability of family planning services.
bullet The existence and content of sex-education classes in schools.
bullet The percentage of students who attend public schools.

States with exceptional rates (low and high) of abortions are highlighted.

State % Live Births % Abortions %Miscarriages
Alabama 68 17 15
Alaska 69 16 15
Arizona 67 18 15
Arkansas 71 13 16
California 59 26 14
Colorado 65 20 15
Connecticut 62 23 15
Delaware 66 19 15
District of Columbia 37 50 13
Florida 58 28 14
Georgia 65 20 15
Hawaii 62 23 15
Idaho 74 10 16
Illinois 62 23 15
Indiana 69 15 15
Iowa 72 12 16
Kansas 71 13 16
Kentucky 73 11 16
Louisiana 70 14 15
Maine 68 17 15
Maryland 56 30 14
Massachusetts 57 29 14
Michigan 63 22 15
Minnesota 69 15 15
Mississippi 69 15 15
Missouri 69 15 15
Montana 69 15 15
Nebraska 72 12 16
Nevada 56 30 14
New Hampshire 64 21 15
New Jersey 55 31 14
New Mexico 68 16 15
New York 53 33 14
North Carolina 65 19 15
North Dakota 65 19 15
Ohio 67 18 15
Oklahoma 71 13 16
Oregon 65 20 15
Pennsylvania 66 19 15
Rhode Island 60 25 15
South Carolina 68 17 15
South Dakota 75 9 16
Tennessee 69 16 15
Texas 67 18 15
Utah 77 7 16
Vermont 65 20 15
Virginia 63 23 15
Washington 63 22 15
West Virginia 72 12 16
Wisconsin 69 15 15
Wyoming 67 17 15
Average for USA 63 22 15

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Overview of abortion in the U.S.:

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) published an overview of abortion in 2003-JAN. 3 Some of the facts mentioned are:

bullet 52% of pregnancies are intended (at the time of conception) ; 48% are unintended (1994 data).
bullet Of the approximately 3 million unintended pregnancies each year in the U.S., 47% are terminated by abortion, 40% result in live births, and 13% end in miscarriages.
bullet There were 1.31 million abortions in the year 2000.
bullet 2.1% of all women of child-bearing age (15 to 44) had an abortion in the year 2000.
bullet The annual rate of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age has dropped from 30 in 1980, to 21 during the year 2000.
bullet The report quotes Darroch and Singh who concluded that the declining pregnancy rate among teens is primarily due to better contraceptive use, and secondarily due to lower rates of sexual intercourse.
bullet The vast majority of are elective. Women generally decide to have an abortion because of economic or other personal reasons. Approximately ten to fifteen thousand abortions terminate pregnancies which resulted from rape or incest each year. This is on the order of 1% of all abortions.
bullet 67.3% of women who have abortions have never been married; 17% are married; 15.6% are separated, divorced or widowed.
bullet 71% of legal abortions are performed in clinics that specialize in abortion. About 22% are done in other clinics. Only 5% are done in hospitals.
bullet There are about 430 clinics that specialize in abortion, and 400 multi-functional clinics that perform some abortions in the U.S. These numbers have remained relatively constant from 1980 to 2000.
bullet Abortions cost on the order of $400 if performed during the first trimester. Costs go up greatly later in gestation.
bullet In 2001, NARAL stated that more than 2,400 acts of violence have been reported against abortion providers since 1997. This included bombings, arson, death threats, murders, kidnapping and assault.
bullet The abortion rate in the U.S. is lower than in the rest of the world. About 5% of the world's population live in America and are responsible for about 3% of the abortions. The abortion rate (number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age -- 15 to 44) is 23 for the U.S. but 35 for the world.

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You can safely buy these books on abortion from's online bookstore:

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "About AGI," at:
  2. "Contraception Counts," AGI, at:
  3. "An Overview of Abortion in the United States," PRCH & AGI, 2003-JAN, Page 10, at: You need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from:
  4. Ibid, Page 12.
  5. Lawrence Finer & Stanley Hensahw, "Estimates of U.S. Abortion Incidence in 2001 and 2002," The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2005-MAY-18, at:
  6. "Decline in Number and Rate of U.S. Abortions Continues, New Analysis Shows. Meanwhile ,UK Rates Increase," LifeSite, 2005-AUG-02, at:

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Abortion > Facts > here

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Copyright © 1995 to 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated: 2005-AUG-0
Author: B.A. Robinson

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