Analysis

Latest CDC report: Abortions have declined among Black women but remain extremely high

population, infant mortality

As Planned Parenthood attempts to push the legacy of its founder Margaret Sanger — a eugenicist and one-time Ku Klux Klan speaker — into the closet, a glimmer of hope may be emerging despite the longtime eugenic history of abortion in the United States. For decades, leaders in the Black community warned about abortion’s potential use as a tool of Black genocide — and according to statistics in recent years, Black abortions have remained disproportionately high. But there may be reason to hope that is changing, according to new data just published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s newly released data shows that abortions among Black women dropped from a recent high of 38% in 2016 to nearly 34% in 2018based on numbers provided from 31 reporting areas in 2018 (32 reported in 2016).The CDC requests data from 52 total reporting areas, which includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. The reporting health agencies from each of these areas can voluntary report, or decline to report their abortion statistics. This means of the total estimated number of abortions in 2018 (619,591), 31 reporting areas indicated the race or ethnicity of 350,124 aborted children.While the data is limited, based on the decline in the percentage of Black abortions from 2016 to 2018 (38% to 34% of total aborted children whose race or ethnicity was reported), one can estimate that total Black abortions dropped by 12% in these reporting areas.

While this is good news, Black Americans still accounted for a large portion of abortions committed in the United States in 2018, with a continued high abortion rate of 21.2 abortions (per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years), as well as a high abortion ratio of 335 (number of abortions per 1,000 live births). But even there the trend is beginning to turn downward.

In 2018, the abortion rate among Black Americans dropped nearly 37% from its high (33.5) in 2008. Likewise, the abortion ratio among Black Americans also declined by nearly 31% from its high (483) in 2010.

Image: Estimated Black abortions 2010 to 2016 and 2018 past decade (Graph: Live Action News)

Estimated Black abortions 2010 to 2016 and 2018 past decade (Graph: Live Action News)

The downward trend among Black Americans holds even when you examine the abortion percentage over the past decade (2010-2018). The CDC reported a total of 765,651 abortions in 2010, with an overall decline of 19% to 619,591 abortions in 2018. During this time, abortions among Black women declined from almost 36% in 2010 to almost 34% in 2018. The decrease was also seen among Hispanic women, with a decline from 21% in 2010 to 20% in 2018.

White women, however, saw an increase in their overall percentage of abortions during this time frame, climbing from nearly 37% in 2010 to almost 39% in 2018.

READ: New CDC report shows 57% drop in abortions from record high in 1990

The two major reporting agencies — the CDC as well as Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute — have both published recent abortion data. Guttmacher’s latest data is from 2017, while the CDC’s is from 2018. But only the CDC has recently updated its data on race and ethnicity. The most recent data on race published by Guttmacher is from 2014, and states, “White patients accounted for 39% of abortion procedures in 2014, black patients for 28%, Hispanic patients for 25%, and patients of other races and ethnicities for 9%.”

Live Action News has analyzed the 2018 CDC report further below. Note that the data is based on 31 reporting areas to the CDC (350,124 abortions) for race/ethnicity, a decline from the 32 reporting areas in 2016. Abortion estimates are calculated using each group’s abortion percentage times the total of 619,591 abortions reported in 2018.

White abortions in 2018:

  • White Americans saw an increase in their abortion percentage from recent years, while experiencing an overall decrease in their abortion rate in 2018.
  • In 2018, White Americans made up 60.3% of the population, but accounted for 38.7% of abortions, for an estimated 239,781 abortions in 2018.
  • According to the CDC, in 2018, “Non-Hispanic White women had the lowest abortion rate (6.3 abortions per 1,000 women) and ratio (110 abortions per 1,000 live births).”

Black abortions in 2018: 

  • An estimated 570 abortions were committed on Black women every single day.
  • Black Americans made up 12.1% of the population but accounted for 33.6% of abortions, for an estimated 208,183 abortions in 2018.
  • In 2018, there were 21.2 abortions per 1,000 Black women aged 15–44 years and 335 abortions per 1,000 live births.
  • The Black abortion rate was nearly 3.4 times higher than the white abortion rate (21.2 v. 6.3) and 1.9 times higher than the Hispanic abortion rate (21.2 v 10.9).
  • The Black abortion ratio was more than 3 times higher than the white abortion ratio (335 v. 110) and 2.1 times higher than the Hispanic abortion ratio (335 v. 158).
  • Black abortions in 2018 (208,183 estimated) outnumbered the top five leading causes of death (204,694) for Black Americans in 2017 combined (2018 data on causes of death has not been published yet).
  • Black abortion numbers (estimated) were nearly 21 times greater than homicides committed on Black Americans (208,183 v. 10,073) in 2017.
  • While the CDC has not broken down abortions by race for 2017, we estimate that in the past decade (2010 to 2018), well over two million Black babies lost their lives due to abortion.

Hispanic abortions in 2018: 

  • An estimated 340 abortions were committed on Hispanic women every day.
  • Hispanic Americans made up 18.4% of the population but accounted for 20% of abortions, for an estimated 123,918 abortions in 2018.
  • In 2018, there were 10.9 abortions per 1,000 Hispanic women aged 15–44 years and 335 abortions per 1,000 live births.
  • The Hispanic abortion rate was nearlytwo times higher than white abortion rate (10.9 v. 6.3).
  • The Hispanic abortion ratio was more than 1.4 times higher than the white abortion ratio (158 v. 110).
  • Hispanic abortions in 2018 (123,918 estimated) outnumbered the top five leading causes of death (116,700) for Hispanic Americans in 2017 combined (2018 causes of death data has not been published yet).
Image: Abortions by race ethnicity 2018 v LCD Black and Hispanic 2017 (Graph: Live Action News)

Abortions by race ethnicity 2018 v LCD Black and Hispanic 2017 (Graph: Live Action News)

The decline in abortions among Black women may be due in part to the many strong voices of life speaking out from within the Black community. Ongoing support from pro-life individuals, groups, and pregnancy resource centers coupled with continued education on abortion’s eugenic targeting may also be having an impact.

Editor’s Note 1/7/21: This article has been updated since its original publication.

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