Number of legal abortions in the U.S. 1973-2016

This statistic shows the number of legal abortions reported in the United States from 1973 to 2016. In 2000, there were approximately 857,000 legal abortions in the United States. In 2016, this figure decreased to some 623,000.

Types of abortion

In the U.S., a variety of facilities provide abortions, including abortion clinics, non-specialized clinics, hospitals, and physicians’ offices, with abortion clinics providing the greatest number of abortions in 2017. The two main types of abortion include medical abortion, which uses medication to terminate a pregnancy, and surgical abortion, which includes a procedure such as suction or dilation and evacuation. During 2016, surgical abortion at 13 weeks gestation or earlier was reported by women to be the most used method.

Abortion and contraception

Need for abortion has decreased due to publicly funded contraceptive services making contraception available regardless of income, and is estimated to have averted over 117,000 abortions in the state of California in 2016. In developing regions worldwide, contraception has helped prevent nearly 3 million unintended teenage pregnancies which would have resulted in abortion.

Number of legal abortions reported in the U.S. from 1973 to 2016

Number of abortions in thousands
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Source

Release date

November 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1973 to 2016

Age group

15-44 years

Supplementary notes

* This statistic was assembled from several editions of CDC's Abortion Surveillance.
All figures are rounded. Overall trends presented in this table should be interpreted with caution because of the different numbers of reporting areas that provided data to CDC in different years. The following states did not report abortion data to CDC: California (2006–2015), Maryland (2007–2015), and New Hampshire (2006–2015). California (2003–2014), Louisiana (2005), Maryland (2007–2014), New Hampshire (2003–2014), and West Virginia (2003–2004). For 2006, the number of legal abortions is greater than reported in the 2006 report because of numbers subsequently provided by Louisiana. For 2009, the number of legal abortions is greater than reported in the 2009 report because of numbers subsequently provided by Delaware. No surveys were conducted in 2003, 2006, or 2009. Data for those years were estimated by interpolation.

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Statistics on "Abortion in the U.S."

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