The Guttmacher Institute (leading authority on abortion statistics) recently released their data for U.S. abortions in 2008.  Not much has changed since 2005.  Here are some of the most important findings[1]:

  • In 2008 there were 6.4 million pregnancies to the 62 million women of reproductive age.  Of those, 19% ended in abortion, 66% ended in live birth, and 15% ended in miscarriage.  That means there were approximately 1.21 million abortions.
  • The abortion rate is 19.6 abortions per 1000 women, up 1% from 2005 (19.4).
  • In 2008, women in their 20s obtained > half of all abortions.
  • 61% of women who obtain abortions are mothers (i.e. they have previously given birth to at least one child).
  • Chemical/medical abortions accounted for 17% of all abortions in 2008 (the rest were surgical).
  • There are 1793 abortion facilities, representing a 3% decline from 2005.
  • States with the most abortions: CA (214,190), NY (153,110), FL (94,360), TX (84,610), IL (54,920).
  • States with the fewest abortions: WY (90), SD (850), ND (1400), VT (1510), AK (1700), ID (1800).
  • States with the highest abortion rates: DE (40), NY (37.6), NJ (31.3), DC (29.9), MD (29), CA (27.6), FL (27.2), NV (25.9), CT (24.6), RI (22.9).
  • States with the lowest abortion rates: WY (0.9), MS (4.6), KY (5.1), SD (5.6), ID (6), WV (6.6), UT (6.7).
  • 24% of CA pregnancies resulted in abortion (representing 17.7% of all U.S. abortions) and 61% in live birth (15% miscarriage).

[1]Rachel K. Jones and Kathryn Kooistra of the Guttmacher Institute, “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services In the United States, 2008,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Volume 43, Number 1; March 2011; pp. 41-50.  Available from http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/4304111.pdf; Internet; accessed 10 January 2011.