Statistics on Abortion

Content

1. Abortion legislation
2. Abortion rates and numbers
3. Link between abortion rates and abortion legislation
4. Abortion and health
5. Public opinion on abortion

1. Abortion legislation

abortion laws in the world

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2. Abortion rates and numbers

There are about 1,000,000 abortions per year in the United States, that’s over 200 abortions per 1,000 live births. Nearly one in three American women will have an abortion by the age of 45 (source).

abortion chart

abortion rate in the us

total number of abortions US

total number of abortions US

abortion rate US

abortion rate US

(source)

Some more US state by state information is here. These are the global abortion rates:

numbers of abortions

(source, source)

global abortion rates

(source)
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3. Link between abortion rates and abortion legislation

The link between abortion rates and abortion legislation is counterintuitive: laws that restrict abortion don’t seem to lower the number of procedures; on the contrary, restrictive laws are associated with higher rates:

link between abortion laws and abortion rates

(source)

Of course, this is probably a typical correlation-causation problem. It’s unlikely that strict laws cause higher rates. Perhaps countries with strict laws also tend to be poor and then it may be poverty that causes the high rates (poverty means lower access to contraception for instance).

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4. Abortion and health

Globally, half of abortions are considered unsafe, and almost all unsafe abortions occur in the developing world. Complications due to unsafe abortion continued to account for an estimated 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

In the US, abortion mortality fell dramatically since legalization in 1973, although the trend was set before:

abortion mortality

(source)

abortions and abortion deaths US

(source)
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5. Public opinion on abortion

public opinion on abortion

(source)

Public opinion in the U.S.:

opinion on abortion

(source, the question was: “which one of these opinions best agrees with your view: 1) by law, abortion should never be permitted; 2) the law should permit abortion only in case of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger; 3) the law should permit abortion for reasons other than rape, incest, or danger to the woman’s life, but only after the need for the abortion has been established; or 4) by law, a woman should always be able to obtain an abortion as a matter of personal choice)

us public opinion on legality of abortion

(source)

us public opinion on legality of abortion

(source, incorporates data from eight organizations — ABC/Washington Post, Quinnipiac, Pew, LA Times/Bloomberg, AP/Ipsos, CBS, NBC/WSJ and CNN — that ask respondents a four-option question about abortion, where they are given a choice between saying abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in all cases, or illegal in most cases)

pro-choice pro-life in the us

(source)

support for roe v wade

(source)

opinion on abortion

(source)
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3 thoughts on “Statistics on Abortion

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