And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. - Colossians 3:17

Sobering Statistics on Abortion

Rev. Robert Fleischmann, Christian Life Resources National Director

In January, 2011, the Guttmacher Institute released its latest figures on abortion. That data combined with other available information provides great insight into the current practice of abortion. The statistics are indeed sobering.

After abortions reached an annual high of 1.6 million deaths in 1990, the numbers began to drop. The 2008 statistics, however, show, at best, the number of abortions performed annually leveled off and actually indicated an increase by about 1% as compared with the abortion numbers from 2005.

The Guttmacher Institute report provides a multi-faceted look at the statistics involving abortion. For now is left the reader to draw his or her conclusions. Regardless of trying to understand the reasons in justifying abortion, the sad reality is that human life continues to be cheapened and viewed as a commodity to be disposed of at will. As people increasingly distance themselves from God and His truths they also find it increasingly easy to terminate the defenseless. As people increasingly cloud over sin, its eternal consequences and the divine price paid for redemption, abortion will continue to haunt us as a nation and as concerned Christians.

The Number of Abortions

  • In 2008, there were 1.21 million abortions. Abortion became legal throughout the United States and its territories as the result of the January 22, 1973, U.S. Supreme Court rulings of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that between 1973 and 2008 about 50 million abortions have occurred. That is the approximate combined total current populations of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.
  • Fifty percent (50%) of all abortions are performed on women who have had one or more previous abortions.

The Number of Pregnancies

  • There are about 6.4 million pregnancies in the United States every year. About 1 million of those pregnancies end in a miscarriage.
  • About 22% of the sustained pregnancies end in abortion.
  • About half of all pregnancies (48.4%) were considered unplanned.
  • About 40% of the pregnancies deemed “unplanned” ended in abortion.
  • Guttmacher’s report estimates that by the age of 45 at least half of all American women will experience an unintended pregnancy and about one-third will have an abortion.

Birth Control, Pregnancy and Abortion

  • Fifty-four percent (54%) of the women who had abortions claimed they were using birth control (usually a condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. When those same women were pressed on whether they had used the birth control correctly, 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users claimed they had.

Race, Pregnancy and Abortion

  • According to estimates from the U.S.Census Bureau, in 2009 the U.S.population totaled about 307 million.
65.0% were white
12.4% were black
9.8% were Hispanic or Latino
12.8% were other
  • The percent of pregnancies in 2008 deemed unintendedby race were as follows:
White women = 40%
Black women = 69%
Hispanic women = 54%
  • The percent of abortions in 2008 by race were as follows: 
White women = 36.1%
Black women = 29.6%
Hispanic women = 24.9%
Other women = 9.4%

Place of Birth and Abortion

  • More than 16 percent (16.4%) of all U.S. abortions in 2008 were performed on women who were born outside of the country.

Income and Abortion

  • More than four of every ten abortions in 2008 (42.4%) were performed on women who were below the poverty level in the United States.

Age and Abortion

  • Following is the age breakdown of all abortions in 2008:
Under age 15 = 4,840 abortions (0.4%)
Ages 15-17 = 75,020 abortions (6.2%)
Ages 18-19 = 133,100 abortions (11%)
Ages 20-24 = 404,140 abortions (33.4%)
Ages 25-29 = 295,240 abortions (24.4%)
Ages 30-34 = 163,350 abortions (13.5%)
Ages 35-39 = 99,220 abortions (8.2%)
Ages 40+ = 35,090 abortions (2.9%)
More than 50% of all abortions (57.8%) are performed on women between the ages of 20-29.

Marriage and Abortion

  • Following is the cohabitating or marriagestatus of women who aborted in 2008:
Married = 179,080 abortions (14.8%)
Co-habiting (not marriage) = 353,320 abortions (29.2%)
Never married – not co-habiting = 544,500 abortions (45.0%)
Previously married – not co-habiting = 133,100 abortions (11.0%)

Education and Abortion

  • Following is the education level of the woman having an abortion in 2008:
Non-graduate of high school = 12.3%
High school graduate or received GED = 28.3%
Some college or associate degree = 39.5%
Post-college graduate degree = 19.9%

Religion and Abortion

  • Those women who had abortions in 2008 listed their religious affiliation as:
Roman Catholic = 28.1%
Protestant = 37.3%
Other = 7.1%

None = 27.5%

Payment for Abortions

  • Of all women having abortions in 2008, payment for the procedure came as follows:
Out of Pocket = 57%
Medicaid = 20%
Financial Assistance = 13%
Private Health Insurance = 12%
Other = 2%
Note: The total exceeds 100% because some women reported more than one source of money was used to pay for the abortion.

Some states provide funds to assist in coverage of abortion costs. Over nine in ten women (92%) who had Medicaid coverage used state funds for their abortions.

Abortion and Insurance

  • In 2008 those receiving abortions reported their insurance coverage as:
Medicaid = 31%
Uninsured = 33%
Private = 30%

Other = 5%

Jones, Rachel K.; Finer, Lawrence B.; Singh, Shusheela (May 4, 2010). “Characteristics of U.S. abortion patients, 2008”. New York: Guttmacher Institute.

In Brief: Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States, January 2011,

U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009 (NCEST2009-03),

Clearly Caring Magazine-Home Edition, 1st Quarter 2011, Vol. 31, No. 1

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