Approx. number of surgical abortions from 1973-2011 (1)
Abortions performed in 2011 (1)

Pregnancies ending in abortion (1)

Unintended pregnancies ending in abortion (2)

Women obtaining an abortion who've had at least one previous abortion (3)

Who has abortions?


of women seeking abortions are in their 20s (3)

6% were ages 15-17
11% were ages 18-19
33% were ages 20-24
24% were ages 25-29
22% were ages 30-39


of women seeking abortions are non-caucasian (3)

36% Non-Hispanic White
30% Non-Hispanic Black
25% Hispanic Black
9% other


of women seeking abortions are not married (3)

29% cohabiting
52% in a relationship 1 year or longer
15% married


of women seeking abortions are poor or low-income (3)

27% qualifying as low-income
42% qualifying as poor


of women seeking abortions have one or more children (3)

34% of women had 2 or more children

On Birth Control

of women seeking abortions were using birth control (3)

27% using condoms
17% using a hormonal method

Why do women have abortions?

Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals. (4)

Three-fourths say they cannot afford a child. (4)

Three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents. (4)

Half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. (4)

When are abortions performed?

Abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (2010) (5)


How are abortions performed?*

Abortions performed by cutterage (which includes dilatation & evacuation and suction procedures) (7)


Curettage at ≤13 weeks' gestation (7)


Early medical (nonsurgical) abortion (7)


Curettage at >13 weeks' gestation (7)


Other (7)


Learn more about abortion procedures

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1. Jones RK and Jerman J, Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2011, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2014, 46(1):3-14

2. Finer LB and Zolna MR, Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States, 2001–2008, American Journal of Public Health, 2014, 23(3): e1-e9.

3. Jones RK, Finer LB and Singh S, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010.

4. Finer LB et al., Reasons U.S. women have abortions: quantitative and qualitative perspectives, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118.

5. Guttmacher Institute. In Brief: Fact Sheet. Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States. July 2014. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

6. Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends. Accessed October 2013.

7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2009. Accessed: October 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm?s_cid=ss6108a1_w

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