by Steven Ertelt
November 22, 2007
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — The Centers for Disease Control has released its latest annual abortion report, covering 2004, and the agency reports abortions nationwide have dropped 1.1 percent to their lowest levels since 1974. Though the report provides some useful insight, the CDC continues to underreport the number of abortions across the country.
The health agency says there were 839,226 abortions in 2004, which is lower than the 848,136 abortions reported the year before.
That’s the lowest total since the year following the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortions. In 1974 there were 763,476 abortions.
The abortion ratio, defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, was 238 in 2004, a decrease from the 241 in 2003. That means just under one in four pregnancies in the United States end in abortion.
The abortion rate was 16 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years for 2004, the same since 2000.
However, the CDC relies on states to report the number of abortions it collects and three states, California New Hampshire and West Virginia, do not report their figures to the agency.
Another, Wyoming, fails to collect data from all of the abortions done there and reported just 12 in 2003 (compared with more than 100 reported by other sources).
CDC officials readily admit that anywhere from 12-20 percent of the abortions done nationwide are not contained it its annual figures.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research arm of Planned Parenthood, gets abortion figures directly from abortion businesses and reported most recently in 2003. That analysis contained figures dating back to 2000 and showed 1.3 million abortions.
CDC figures show the number of abortions decreased from 1996-2001, then slightly increased in 2002 and again decreased in 2003 and 2004.
According to the CDC report, 10 women died from abortions in 2003 (the most recent year for which it has abortion death statistics) — with six dying from surgical and four from non-surgical abortions.