Analysis

The latest reported US abortion numbers reveal a shocking 2,800 abortions daily

13 weeks gestation (11 weeks post fertilization)

How many abortions are happening in the United States every year? The answer is a bit more complicated and difficult than most people would expect. There are several reasons for this: one is because the reporting of abortion data is not required by federal law; states make their own decisions as to whether they will track and report abortion statistics. Another reason is because there have typically been two main agencies tracking and reporting national abortion data — the Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and those agencies gather data differently and end up with vastly different counts.

The reporting of abortion data has become no easier since the overturning of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision two years ago, but Live Action News has summarized the most recent data below. What it reveals is that since the reversal of Roe, abortions are rising to numbers we have not seen in over a decade. There are also many reasons for this — one of which is the increased incentivizing of abortion by state entities, abortion funds, and even private businesses in the past two years. Another is the Biden administration’s loosening of safety standards regarding how the abortion pill may be dispensed.

Abortion By the Numbers

  • Guttmacher 2023 data: The Guttmacher Institute recorded 1,037,000 abortions for 2023 (2,841 abortions daily in the U.S. — 118 abortions per hour, nearly two per minute, and one every 30 seconds.) That same year, 642,700 chemical (abortion pill) abortions were recorded by Guttmacher (53,558 a month, 1,761 daily, 73 hourly, and one abortion pill abortion every 49 seconds.)
  • CDC 2021 data: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 625,978 abortions for 2021 (latest data available).
  • Guttmacher range data (50 years) — 1973-2023: The Guttmacher Institute recorded 62,982,925 abortions.
  • CDC range data (48 years) — 1973-2021: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 48,384,231 abortions (latest data available).

From 1973 to 2020, the CDC recorded 460 known women’s deaths from legal abortion.

Who Publishes Abortion Data

Traditionally, abortion data has been compiled by two organizations: The Guttmacher Institute (a former Planned Parenthood “special affiliate,”) and the CDC.

Guttmacher has funneled at least $100 million to Planned Parenthood, and did not begin publishing abortion data until 1973. The organization previously utilized responses to abortion provider surveys for its abortion reports. Then, in late 2023, after nearly 50 years of using the same methodology, Guttmacher changed this methodology and began publishing monthly abortion estimates.

Guttmacher did this despite describing this new methodology as less reliable than what had been previously used, writing that “The Monthly Abortion Provision Study was designed to complement the APC and other data collection efforts by producing a slimmer portfolio of data but at a much quicker pace. Its design is responsive to the needs of policymakers, advocates and other stakeholders in the fast-changing landscape of US abortion policy and provision and attempts to minimize the time required of staff at surveyed facilities.” (emphasis added)

In other words, for political expediency, Guttmacher chose to change its reporting methodology to a less accurate method.

Monthly Abortion Reporting Guttmacher "Slimmer portfolio" methodology

Monthly Abortion Reporting Guttmacher “Slimmer portfolio” methodology

“The study’s estimates are generated by a statistical model that combines data from samples of providers with historical data on the caseload of every US provider. As more data are collected each month, estimates for past months become more precise. Each estimate is expressed as an uncertainty interval, which quantifies our confidence that the true value falls within a particular range,” Guttmacher also wrote.

In 1969, years prior to Roe v. Wade, the CDC began an abortion surveillance branch to document the number and characteristics of legally obtained abortions. To date, the CDC relies solely on data voluntarily reported from the states, which individually set the standards for abortion reporting.

Currently, not all states report abortion statistics, and since the Dobbs decision in 2022, some states (Michigan, Minnesota) are planning to either stop reporting or scale back what data they publish. Therefore, there are large disparities in abortion data state by state. Some states require no reporting whatsoever, and others collect a variety of data on age, race, gender, gestation, complications, and other categories. As such, Guttmacher’s overall numbers tend to be more comprehensive.

Since Dobbs, two agencies have begun to publish estimated abortion data: the Guttmacher Institute and the Society of Family Planning (SFP), the latter of which was founded in 2005 thanks to a generous contribution from the Packard Foundation, and is heavily funded by the Buffett Foundation.

Guttmacher’s abortion data previously updated about every two years, but since Dobbs, the pro-abortion organization has published monthly abortion estimates on a regular basis. CDC data is due to update in November 2024.

National Abortion Data 

In May of 2024, the Guttmacher Institute updated its total abortion number for the year 2023, writing, “Monthly Abortion Provision Study show that an estimated 1,037,000 abortions occurred in the formal health care system in 2023.”

This updated figure reveals that there are 2,841 abortions daily in the U.S. — 118 abortions per hour, nearly 2 per minute, and one every 30 seconds.

“This represents a rate of 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age,* and is a 11% increase since 2020 [930,160 recorded in 2020], the last year for which comprehensive estimates are available. It is also the highest number and rate measured in the United States in over a decade,” the former “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood reported in May.

“It is important to note that these annual estimates are almost certainly an undercount, as they include only those abortions obtained within the formal US health care system: at brick-and-mortar health facilities, such as clinics or doctor’s offices, and via telehealth and virtual providers,” Guttmacher added.

The May 2024 Guttmacher statistic replaces a slightly lower estimate of 1,026,690 abortions published by Live Action News in March.

The CDC’s most recently available data for 2021 recorded 625,978 total abortions nationally from 48 reporting areas. The CDC is expected to update this figure later this year.

Abortions Since 1973

Abortion data reported in the United States is now estimated to have reached nearly 63 million since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision forced legalized abortion upon every U.S. state. Roe fell nearly 50 years later on June 24, 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO) case that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start.”

As staggering as the numbers are, abortions taking place illegally in states with pro-life protections are likely either undercounted or not reported at all.

Abortion numbers Guttmacher (1973-2023) and CDC (1973 -2021) UPDATED June 2024

Abortion numbers Guttmacher (1973-2023) and CDC (1973 -2021) UPDATED June 2024

Abortion Pill Numbers 

In March of 2024, Guttmacher estimated that the abortion pill had accounted for 63% of abortions in 2023, a 45% increase from 2017.

In 2023, Guttmacher’s abortion data revealed a whopping 642,700 chemical (abortion pill) abortions occuring that year. This translates to an abortion pill count of 53,558 monthly, 1,761 daily, 73 hourly, and one abortion by pill every 49 seconds in 2023.

The research from Guttmacher’s Monthly Abortion Provision Study reiterated that its abortion pill counts don’t include those that “take place outside of the formal health care system” or which are “mailed to people in states with total abortion bans.”

“While there are no comprehensive data on the number of self-managed medication abortions in the United States, evidence suggests they have been increasing in the past several years. Therefore, the total count of medication abortions nationally is higher than our count of those offered within the formal health care system,” Guttmacher added.

The latest published data by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that from 2000 through the end of December 2022, “approximately 5.9 million women” used the abortion pill mifepristone in the U.S. for “medical termination of pregnancy.”

And according to published percentages for ER visits on mifepristone’s 2023 label, 2.9 to 4.6 percent of women who take abortion drugs end up in the emergency room, indicating that abortion pill ER visits could be in the tens of thousands every year. In addition, the FDA’s medication guide acknowledges that as many as seven percent (7%) of women will need surgery after taking mifepristone “to stop bleeding” or to complete the abortion.

Planned Parenthood Abortion Numbers 

Planned Parenthood’s 2022-23 annual report has revealed that the abortion corporation committed a total of 392,715 abortions that year. This is the highest number recorded to date.

During that time frame, Planned Parenthood held 40% of the abortion market share, killing an average of 1,076 preborn babies every day, nearly 45 every hour, and one every 80 seconds in 2022-23.

While Planned Parenthood’s report does not breakdown how many abortions were committed by the abortion pill, a recent claim from the president of Planned Parenthood has indicated that 70% of abortion sales (nearly 275,000 estimated) at Planned Parenthood are now committed by this method.

Planned Parenthood abortions revenue and taxpayer funding 2000-2022-23

Planned Parenthood abortions revenue and taxpayer funding 2000-2022-23

According to the 2022-23 annual report, Planned Parenthood received nearly $700 million in taxpayer dollars — $1.9 million dollars from U.S. taxpayers every day.

And while the abortion corporation serviced fewer clients with decreasing legitimate health services, they committed over 228 abortions for every one adoption referral and a whopping 62 abortions for every one prenatal care service they provide.

Since 2000, Planned Parenthood has committed over 7.1 million abortions and received nearly $10.7 billion from taxpayers.

Later Abortion Statistics

A majority of abortions are now committed early in the pregnancy, well before 15 weeks gestation.

In 2021, while the CDC’s abortion data did not specifically break down later abortions at 15 weeks, Live Action News previously documented that in August of 2021, a review of CDC data by Guttmacher had estimated “that between 6.3% and 7.4% of all U.S. abortions are obtained at or after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”

Based on Guttmacher’s updated abortion numbers for 2023 (1,037,000), it could be estimated that between 65,000 and nearly 77,000 abortions are committed every year at or after 15 weeks, in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This brings the daily national death toll for babies killed at or after 15 weeks to between 178 and 211.

Abortion at or after 21 weeks is estimated to be about 1% of all abortions. But this is no small number and translates into an estimated 10,370 babies killed in one year by violent abortion at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy (using 2023 Guttmacher data)

Read more about this at Live Action News here.

Abortion Client Characteristics

Abortion data on characteristics has not been published by Guttmacher in many years.

However, in 2021, the CDC published data which revealed that unmarried women, those in their 20s, and women who have experienced a previous ‘live birth’ but never had a prior abortion were among those who obtained the majority of abortions.

The CDC found that in 2021, just 12.7% of women who obtained an abortion were married, while 87.3% were unmarried. And while married women saw an abortion ratio of 41 abortions per 1,000 live births, single unmarried women had 404 abortions per 1,000 live births.

Who has the most abortions CDC (2021) Guttmacher (2014)

Abortion Numbers by Race

In 2021, CDC abortion data revealed that Black women saw the highest rate and ratio of abortions that same year, reporting that “non-Hispanic White (White) women and non-Hispanic Black (Black) women accounted for the highest percentages of all abortions (30.2% and 41.5%, respectively), and Hispanic women and non-Hispanic women in the other race category accounted for lower percentages (21.8% and 6.5%, respectively).”

Read more on who has the most abortions here.

While nationally the trend is heading upward, in places like New York City, Black births have now outpaced Black abortions for the past several years.

Prior to and including 2016, the data revealed that more Black babies were aborted in NYC than had been born. However, in 2017 that trend began to reverse, and continued in 2020 (the latest year recorded), where NYC documented 18,162 Black births and 14,043 abortions of Black babies that same year. The latest available data for 2021 revealed that NYC documented 17,608 live Black births and 14,959 abortions of Black babies.

Black births v abortions in New York City 2000 to 2021 Graph Live Action News

Black births v abortions in New York City 2000 to 2021 Graph Live Action News

Abortion-Related Deaths

The latest data from the CDC for 2021 recorded six abortion-related deaths of women for 2020. The number of women dying from legal abortion increased 50% from the four deaths recorded in 2019, and 200% from the two deaths recorded in 2018.

The government agency defines an abortion-related death as “a death resulting from a direct complication of an abortion (legal or illegal), an indirect complication caused by a chain of events initiated by an abortion, or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition by the physiologic effects of abortion.”

The CDC also noted that from 1998 to 2020, abortion surveillance data reported to the CDC… excluded “eight reporting areas” which “did not report abortion data every year during this period.” These non-reporting areas included “Alaska, 1998–2000; California, 1998–2020; the District of Columbia, 2016; Louisiana, 2005; Maryland, 2007–2020; New Hampshire, 1998–2020; Oklahoma, 1998–1999; and West Virginia, 2003–2004.”

In other words, while six abortion-related deaths were recorded in 2020, these did not include abortion deaths that might have occurred in states like California, Maryland, or New Hampshire.

The number of published abortion-related deaths has now risen to 460 deaths from legal abortion recorded by the CDC between 1973 and 2020, with additional amounts reportedly killed by illegal abortions.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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