Abortion in America – Statistics (1996)

Number of reported legal abortions for selected years between 1972 and 1992 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Abortion Surveillance Report, May 3, 1996:

1972 — 586,760
1973 — 615,831
1976 — 988,267
1980 — 1,297,606
1985 — 1,328,570
1987 — 1,353,671
1989 — 1,396,658
1990 — 1,429,577
1991 — 1,388,937
1992 — 1,359,145
1993 – 1,330,414
1994 – 1,267,415
1995 – 1,210,883
1996 – 1,221,585

According to the CDC report, in 1992:

  • Roughly one half of women who had abortions in the U.S. had no other children;
  • 44% of women who had abortions in the U.S. had at least one previous abortion;
  • 20% of women who had abortions in the U.S. were married; 80% were unmarried.

The percentage of teenagers (under 19 years of age) having abortions began to drop in the 1980s, coinciding with the passage and enforcement of laws requiring a parent’s involvement in their teenage daughter’s abortion decision:
1972 — 32.6
1973 — 32.7
1976 — 32.1
1980 — 29.2
1985 — 26.3
1987 — 25.8
1989 — 24.2
1990 — 22.4
1991 — 21.0
1992 — 20.1
1993 – 20.0
1994 – 20.2
1995 – 20.1

A study of Minnesota’s teenage abortion rates before and after the enactment of the state’s parental notification law found that the abortion rates for teenage girls, ages 15-17, dropped with passage of the law. (American Journal of Public Health, “Impact of the Minnesota Parental Notification Law on Abortion and Birth,” March 1991). Abortion rates in the states of Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia decreased after passage of parental involvement laws.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of the nation’s leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood:

  • Unmarried women are six times more likely than married women to abort their unborn child;
  • The highest abortion rate is among 18- to 19-year-old women: 56 per 1,000 women;
  • About 15,000 abortions each year are attributed to rape and incest – representing 1% of all abortions. (Guttmacher statistics from “Facts in Brief,” 1995)
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