Who has most abortions? The data may (or may not) surprise you


While any woman could find herself experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, statistically, there are some characteristics that are more common than others. It should surprise no one that those obtaining most abortions are women who are unmarried and in their 20s. But some of the other factors are less expected.

This data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Guttmacher Institute, which was once Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate” and research arm.

According to the two groups:

  • Most abortion clients are women in their 20s (60%* – 56.9%^)
  • Most abortion clients have had a previous live birth (59%*-60%^)
  • Most abortion clients are unmarried (45.9%*– 85.5%^)
  • Black women account for most abortions committed later in pregnancy — 40% (120,121) of abortions between 0-13 weeks of pregnancy and 42% (10,100) at 14 weeks or later.^
  • Most abortion clients had a low income (75%*)
  • Most abortion clients had at least a high school education (91%*)
  • Most abortion clients paid for their abortions out-of-pocket (53%*)

Black women had the highest abortion percentage (38.4%), rate (23.8 abortions per 1,000 women), and ratio (386 abortions per 1,000 live births), according to the CDC.

Abortion is tethered to eugenics, and the CDC’s 2019 data confirms that communities of color, which have a disproportionate number of abortions, are still being targeted for eugenic abortions. A detailed review of abortions by race and ethnicity can be viewed at Live Action News here.

Image: Who has abortions? Abortion data by race ethnicity and population percentages CDC 2019 (Chart: Live Action News)

Abortion data by race ethnicity and population percentages CDC 2019 (Chart: Live Action News)

Most abortion clients have had no prior abortions

According to CDC 2019 data, 58.2% of abortion clients had no prior abortions. The other totals reveal:

  • One previous abortion – 125,716 (23.8%)
  • Two previous abortions- 55,669 (10.5%)
  • Three or more previous abortions- 39,792 (7.5%)

Most had some religious affiliation (62%*)

In 2014, Guttmacher found that 38% women getting abortions reported no religious affiliation while the majority had some form of religious affiliation — 24% were Roman Catholic, 17% were mainline Protestant, 13% were evangelical Protestant, and 8% were another affiliation. A closer review of data reveals a decline in abortions among all religious groups from what was reported in 2008.

“The proportion of women who identified as mainline Protestant declined by 24% since 2008, whereas the proportion with no affiliation increased by 38%. The proportion identifying as Catholic decreased by 15% from the earlier survey, though this change was only marginally significant,” Guttmacher wrote.

Overall, there is some good news in that for the past several years, the abortion rate among all women 15-44 has been in decline. But the bad news is that CDC 2019 data indicates the abortion rate may be ticking upward, due in part to easy abortion pill access.

Read more at Live Action News here.

^ Statistics according to the CDC (2019)

* Statistics according to Guttmacher (2014)

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