Encouraging news came the day after Thanksgiving: the Centers for Disease Control released their annual report on abortion numbers, showing a 5% decrease.
Before getting into the details, it’s important to note that three states refuse to collect and report abortion statistics: California, Maryland, and New Hampshire. While the overall abortion numbers are therefore much higher than reported by the CDC, we can see clearly the trends of the 47 states showing abortions continue to decline.
A total of 664,435 abortions were reported to the CDC in 2013. The reported abortion rate was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years. The reported abortion ratio was 200 abortions per 1,000 live births. All three measures were 5% decreases from 2012, so there were fewer abortions and a higher percentage of women chose life for their children.
The latest national estimate by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute was 1,085,800 abortions in 2011. Both the Guttmacher and CDC numbers continue to show a long-term decline in abortion.
In the report there are 40 reporting areas that collected information on how old the child is at the time he or she is aborted. The report showed 5,770 late-term abortions after 20 weeks, or 1.3% of all abortions. A good estimate for the entire nation is about 10,000 abortions every year given the roughly 1 million total abortions. While made out to be an irrelevant amount, 10,000 late-term abortions is a lot; it’s roughly the same amount of murders using firearms nationally.
Abortion ratios dropped in every racial and ethnic category in 2013, but the abortion ratio is much higher in the Black community and it’s not dropping as quickly as it is in other groups. The 2013 abortion ratio per 1,000 live births was 121 for non-Hispanic White women, 178 for Hispanic women of any race and 420 for non-Hispanic Black women.
Contrary to popular thought, abortion is not a one-time occurrence for most women. Of women who had abortions in 2013, 45% were having their second abortion or more. If there are 1 million abortions in the U.S., then the statistics from the report indicate that 90,000 women every year are having at least the fourth abortion in their lifetime.
What should our conclusion be about this news? We should celebrate that more lives were saved, but we must recognize that much more prolife effort is still needed!
Director of Communication/Education
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