FACTS ABOUT ABORTION
Source: Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2005 and National Abortion Federation, Fact Sheet, 2003.
Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in the U.S.
- Each year almost 50% of all pregnancies among American women are unintended.
- Every year, about 1.3 million women choose to terminate their pregnancy with abortion.
Women Who Have Abortions
- 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.
- Women who have abortions are from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Women of all faiths and religious backgrounds have abortions.
- Of the women having an abortion
- 31% are in school.
- 68% are employed.
- 27% live below the poverty line and another 31% are low income.
- Over 80% of the women getting abortions are unmarried.
- 52% of the women having an abortion have never had a previous one.
Contraception and Abortion
- More than half (54%) of the women getting abortions reported that they used contraception during the month they became pregnant.
- If abortion were used as birth control a typical woman would have 30 abortions in her lifetime.
Barriers to Abortion Services
- Some of the most common barriers women experience to getting an abortion include:
- Long distances to reach an abortion provider
- Cost of the procedure/lack of insurance
- State restrictions, such as waiting periods or parental involvement laws
Reasons Why Women Have Abortions
- Many women who have abortions believe it is the most responsible thing a woman can do; 52% plan to have children at another time.
- About 13,000 women each year have abortions because they have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest.
- The most common reasons why someone has an abortion include:
- Not ready
- Life changes
- Too young
Timing of Abortion
- About 90% of all abortions are obtained in the first 12 weeks.
- Some common reasons for late term abortions include:
- Didn’t realize I was pregnant
- Difficulty making arrangements for procedure
- Afraid to tell parents or partner
- Time needed to make decision
- Research shows that relief is the most common emotion following an abortion. Women at risk for poor post-abortion adjustment are those who do not get the support they need, or whose abortion decisions are actively opposed by people who are important to them.