9 Must-Know Statistics About Abortion In The U.S.

by Elizabeth King

October 20 is World Statistics Day, a pseudo-holiday sponsored by the United Nations that's intended to celebrate and call special attention to the uses of and need for quality data collection and statistical analysis. Statistics are all around us, and when applied in the best possible ways, they are used to improve our lives and to inform decisions that lead to new policies. And sometimes, they have extremely necessary and helpful applications, like providing information about reproductive healthcare and abortion access. Abortion research institutions, such as the Guttmacher Institute (which focuses on reproductive care), and government institutions, such as the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), collect, analyze, and publish vitally important statistics about abortion access — which we should all review in honor of World Statistics Day.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there about terminations and abortion access — and in some states, the lack thereof, thanks to the Republican Party's best efforts. But at the same time, it can feel like there isn't enough information, or that the great statistics we have aren't pervasive enough to combat bad information about abortion. In the spirit of good statistics and their power to do good by giving us the bigger picture, here are nine important stats to know about abortion in the United States.

The Percent Of Abortion Patients Who Are In Their 20s

The Guttmacher Institute reports that 58 percent of abortion patients are between 20 and 29 years old.

The Number Of Abortion Clinics Closed Between 2010 And 2013

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A Huffington Post analysis found that at least 54 abortion clinics were forced to close or to cease offering abortion procedures after new legislative restrictions were passed in 2010.

The Number Of Women Who Have An Abortion By The Age Of 45

The Guttmacher Institute reports that nearly one in three women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the age of 45.

Dollars Saved By Contraception Since Obamacare

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Studies have shown that since Obamacare was made law in 2010, birth control patients are spending $1.4 billion less out of pocket on birth control prescriptions.

The Percentage Of Women Who Live In Counties Without An Abortion Clinic

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 percent of women ages 15 to 44 live in counties without an abortion provider. A whopping 87 percent of counties in the U.S. are without an abortion provider.

The Number Of Abortion Restrictions Passed Between 2011 And 2014

According to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute in January 2015, 231 abortion restrictions had been passed, and 335 restrictions had been introduced by legislators. Fewer than 40 were passed in 2010.

The Decline In Abortions Since 2010


An AP poll released in June 2015 revealed that abortion procedures had declined nearly 12 percent since 2010. Abortions were down in states both with conservative restrictions on abortion access as well as states with more liberal abortion policies.

The Number Of Abortions Performed Between 13 And 20 Weeks

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The CDC stated that in 2011, only 7.3 percent of abortions were performed between 13 and 20 weeks of gestation. This is compared to 91.4 percent of abortions induced at fewer than 13 weeks, and only 1.4 percent induced at 21 weeks or more.

The Number Of Abortions Provided By Planned Parenthood In 2014

In the 2014 fiscal year, Planned Parenthood provided 327,653 abortion procedures, according to their annual report.

Images: Dingzeyu Li/Unsplash (1); Guttmacher Institute (4); Planned Parenthood