Quick Stats

• Nearly half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these end in abortion.[1]

• About half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, [2] and nearly one-third will have an abortion, by age 45.[3]

• The overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate remained stagnant between 1994 and 2006, but unintended pregnancy increased 50% among poor women, while decreasing 29% among higher-income women.[1]

• Overall, the abortion rate decreased 8% between 2000 and 2008, but abortion increased 18% among poor women, while decreasing 28% among higher-income women.[3]

• Some 1.21 million abortions were performed in 2008, down from 1.31 million abortions in 2000.[4]

• Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.[5]

• A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions:[3]

  • 58% are in their 20s;
  • 61% have one or more children;
  • 56% are unmarried and not cohabiting;
  • 69% are economically disadvantaged; and
  • 73% report a religious affiliation.


1. Finer LB and Zolna MR, Unintended pregnancy in the United States: incidence and disparities, 2006, Contraception, 2011, doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2011.07.013.

2. Finer LB and Henshaw SK, Disparities in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2006, 38(2):90–96.

3. Jones RK and Kavanaugh ML, Changes in abortion rates between 2000 and 2008 and lifetime incidence of abortion, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2011, 117( 6):1358–1366.

4. Jones RK and Kooistra K, Abortion incidence and access to services in the United States, 2008, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2011, 43(1):41–50.

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Abortion surveillance—United States, 2006, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2009, Vol. 58, No. SS-8.

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