Each year, almost half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended. About half of these unplanned pregnancies, 1.3 million each year, are ended by abortion.
There are many myths and misconceptions about who gets abortions, and why. The fact is that the women who have abortions come from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds.
If current rates continue, it is estimated that 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.
Women between the ages of 15 and 19 account for about 19% of all abortions; women 20 to 24 account for another 33%; and about 25% of abortions are obtained by women who are 30 or older. Calculating abortion rates, older teenagers and young adults have the highest abortion rates, while women younger than 15 and older than 35 have the lowest.
Most abortions (88%) are obtained in the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, over half of all abortions are obtained within the first 8 weeks. Fewer than 2% occur at 21 weeks or later.
Most women getting abortions (83%) are unmarried; 67% have never married, and 16% are separated, divorced, or widowed. Married women are significantly less likely than unmarried women to resolve unintended pregnancies through abortion.
Women who obtain abortions represent every religious affiliation. 13% of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians ; while 22% of U.S. women are Catholic , 27% of abortion patients say they are Catholics.
Black women were 3.6 times more likely to have an abortion in 2012 than non-Hispanic white women (CDC).
The abortion rate of women with Medicaid coverage is three times as high as that of other women (NAF).