Know the facts, Know your options
Whether you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, have questions about abortion, or need a referral for STD testing and treatment, we are here for you.
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National Background and Context*
Each year, a broad cross section of people in the United States obtain abortions. In 2017, 862,320 abortions were provided in clinical settings in the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and has reaffirmed that right in subsequent decisions.
However, since 2010, the U.S. abortion landscape has grown increasingly restrictive as more states adopt laws hostile to abortion rights. Between January 1, 2011 and July 1, 2019, states enacted 483 new abortion restrictions, and these account for nearly 40% of all abortion restrictions enacted by states in the decades since Roe v. Wade. Some of the most common state-level abortion restrictions are parental notification or consent requirements for minors, limitations on public funding, mandated counseling designed to dissuade individuals from obtaining an abortion, mandated waiting periods before an abortion, and unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations on abortion facilities.
IIn 2018, 619,591 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Among 48 reporting areas with data each year during 2009–2018, in 2018, a total of 614,820 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 189 abortions per 1,000 live births.
From 2009 to 2018, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 22%, 24%, and 16%, respectively. In 2017, the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased to historic lows for the period of analysis for all three measures. However, compared with 2017, in 2018, the total number and rate of reported abortions increased by 1%, and the abortion ratio increased by 2%.
Similar to previous years, in 2018, women in their twenties accounted for the majority of abortions (57.7%). The majority of abortions in 2018 took place early in gestation: 92.2% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (6.9%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.0%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation. Early medical abortion is defined as the administration of medications(s) to induce an abortion at ≤9 completed weeks’ gestation, consistent with the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling for mifepristone (implemented in 2016). In 2018, 38.6% of all abortions were early medical abortions (a nonsurgical abortion at ≤9 weeks’ gestation). Use of early medical abortion increased 9% from 2017 to 2018 and 120% from 2009 to 2018. Source: MMWR. 2020;69(7).