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Approx. number of surgical abortions from 1973-2011 (1)
Abortions performed in 2014 (1)

Pregnancies ending in abortion (1)

Unintended pregnancies ending in abortion (1)

Women obtaining an abortion who've had at least one previous abortion (2)

Who has abortions?


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

0.2% were less than 15
3% were ages 15-17

8% were ages 18-19
34% were ages 20-24
27% were ages 25-29
25% were ages 30-39


of women seeking abortions are caucasian (3)

28% Non-Hispanic Black
25% Hispanic
9% other


of women seeking abortions are not married or cohabiting (3)

31% cohabiting
14% married


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

26% qualifying as low-income (00–199% of the federal poverty level)
49% qualifying as poor (less than 100% of the federal poverty level)


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

33% of women had 2 or more children
41% have no 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?

How are abortions performed?*

Abortions performed by cutterage (which includes dilatation & evacuation and suction procedures) (6)


Curettage at ≤13 weeks' gestation (6)


Early medical (nonsurgical) abortion (6)


Curettage at >13 weeks' gestation (6)


Other (6)


Learn more about abortion procedures

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1. Finer LB and Zolna MR, Declines in unintended pregnancy in the United States, 2008–2011, New England Journal of Medicine, 2016, 374(9):843–852, doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1506575.

2. Jones RK, Jerman J and Ingerick M, Which abortion patients have had a prior abortion? Findings from the 2014 U.S. Abortion Patient Survey, Journal of Women’s Health, 2017, doi:10.1089/jwh.2017.6410.

3. Jerman J, Jones RK and Onda T, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016,

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, doi:10.1363/3711005.

5. Guttmacher Institute. In Brief: Fact Sheet. Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States. July 2014.

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2009. Accessed: October 2013.

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