U.S. Abortion Statistics By Year (1973-Current)

Pregnant woman with ultrasound scan

National Right to Life Committee, 2022

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ROE V. WADE

TOTAL ABORTIONS SINCE 1973:
63,459,781

Based on numbers reported by the Guttmacher Institute 1973-2017,  with 3 percent added for GI estimated possible 3-5 percent undercount for 1973-2014. Another 12,000 per year added for 2015-2020 for abortions from “providers” GI says it may have missed in 2015-2017 counts. [1/22]

Reported Annual Abortions

There are two basic courses on abortion incidence in the United States:

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes yearly, but relies on voluntary reports from state health departments (and New York City, Washington, D.C.). It has been missing data from California, New Hampshire, and at least one other state since 1998.
  • The Guttmacher Institute (GI) contacts abortion clinics directly for data but does not survey every year.
  • Because it surveys clinics directly and includes data from all 50 states, most researchers believe Guttmacher’s numbers to be more reliable, though Guttmacher still believes it may miss some abortions.

Both the CDC and Guttmacher show significant recent drops and sustained drops over the last 25 years.

  • Total abortions dropped 28.8 percent from 1998 to 2019 with the CDC, and fell 46.4 percent from 1990 to 2017 with GI.
  • Total abortions fell below 1 million for the first time in 2013 and have continued downward to 862,320 in the most recent figures for 2017.
  • The abortion rate for 2017 for GI was 13.5 abortions for every 1,000 women of reproductive age (15-44), less than half what it was in 1981 (29.3) and even lower that when abortion was legalized in the U.S. in 1973 (16.3).
  • Guttmacher says there were 18.3 abortions for every 100 pregnancies ending in live birth or abortion in 2016, 18.4 for 2017, lower abortion ratios than any since 1972.
  • Guttmacher says that the number of abortion “providers” has dropped from a high of 2,918 in 1982 to 1,587 in 2017.
  • According to the CDC, the percentage performed with chemical abortifacients like mifepristone rose from 9.8 percent in 2004 to 43.7 percent in 2019.

Reported Annual Abortions – 1973-2020

YEAR GI CDC
1973 744,610 615,831
1974 898,570 763,476
1975 1,034,170 854,853
1976 1,179,300 988,267
1977 1,316,700 1,079,430
1978 1,409,600 1,157,776
1979 1,497,670 1,251,921
1980 1,553,890 1,297,606
1981 1,577,340 1,300,760
1982 1,573,920 1,303,980
1983 1,575,000 1,268,987
1984 1,577,180 1,333,521
1985 1,588,550 1,328,570
1986 1,574,000 1,328,112
1987 1,559,110 1,353,671
1988 1,590,750 1,371,285
1989 1,566,900 1,396,658
1990 1,608,600 1,429,247
1991 1,556,510 1,388,937
1992 1,528,930 1,359,146
1993 1,495,000 1,330,414
1994 1,423,000 1,267,415
1995 1,359,400 1,210,883
1996 1,360,160 1,225,937
1997 1,335,000 1,186,039
1998 1,319,000   884,273 *
1999 1,314,800   861,789 *
2000 1,312,990   857,475 *
2001 1,291,000   853,485 *
2002 1,269,000   854,122 *
2003 1,250,000   848,163 *
2004 1,222,100   839,226 *
2005 1,206,200   820,151 *
2006 1,242,200   846,181 *
2007 1,209,640   827,609 *
2008 1,212,350   825,564 *
2009 1,151,600   789,116 *
2010 1,102,670   765,651 *
2011 1,058,490   730,322 *
2012 1,011,000   699,202 *
2013    958,700   664,435 *
2014    926,190   652,639 *
2015    899,500   638,169 *
2016    874,100   623,471 *
2017    862,320   612,719 *
2018    871,806 **   619,591 *
2019-20    886,677 **   619,898 *

* Excludes NH, CA, and at least one other state
** NRLC projection for calculation

Updated: January 2022


National Right to Life — Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends, January 2022

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Comments

  1. Sheila Puraell : January 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Trying to find abortion stats for 2016, 2017 and 2018

  2. This іs a nice rеview! Certainly a must-reaԁ and an eye-opener!

    It jᥙst hеlped me thanks so much.

  3. Precious J. Blowers : March 10, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    How many babies have been aborted approximately per year in the United States?

    • Christian Life Resources : March 10, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      From the information above: Total abortions fell below 1 million for the first time in 2013 and have continued downward to 862,320 in the most recent figures for 2017.

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