Report: Abortions Target Blacks, Repeat Abortions High, 10% Use RU 486

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Report: Abortions Target Blacks, Repeat Abortions High, 10% Use RU 486 Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 23,

Atlanta, GA ( — The new report the Centers for Disease Control released this week about annual abortion figures in the United States shows abortions continue to target black women more so than other ethnic groups. The 2004 report also shows about 10 percent of all abortions in the United States are done with the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug.

The CDC shows a majority of women who get abortions are white (53 percent) compared with 35 percent done on African-Americans, 8 percent on women of other ethnic backgrounds and the race of the woman was unknown in four percent of the cases.

However, the abortion ratio for black women (472 per 1,000 live births) was 2.9 times higher than the ratio for white women (161 per 1,000).

Examined another way, nearly half of all pregnancies among black women end in abortion while just 16 percent of pregnancies among white women end in abortion.

The abortion rate for black women (28 per 1,000 women) was 2.8 times the rate for white women (10 per 1,000).

Those statistics continue to worry pro-life leaders in the African-American community.

Only 27 reporting areas adequately obtained abortion stats by ethnicity and those areas showed that 19 percent of the women getting abortions were Hispanic — with a low of 0.6% in Mississippi to a high of 50% in New Mexico.

For Hispanic women in these reporting areas, the abortion ratio was 211 per 1,000 live births, and the abortion rate was 26 per 1,000 women. However, only 46% of Hispanic women in the United States resided in these reporting areas.

About half of all abortions are done on women 25 years and older and half done on college-aged women and teenagers.

The CDC statistics continue to show that women involved in a marital relationship are less likely to have abortions — perhaps because they are not as concerned about the financial implications of having a child as unmarried women.

For women whose marital status was adequately reported (41 reporting areas), 80% of women who obtained abortions were known to be unmarried. The abortion ratio for unmarried women (510 per 1,000 live births) was 8.4 times that for married women (61 per 1,000).

Repeat abortions continue to be a problem in the United States, showing a sizable percentage of women getting abortions are using it as a method of birth control.

The data also showed that 46 percent of women getting abortions in 2004 had at least one prior abortion and 19 percent of the women getting abortions had at least two or more prior abortions.

Maryland, Massachusetts and New York had the highest repeat abortion rates and nearly 70 percent of the abortions done in Maryland were repeat abortions — by far the highest in the nation.

Looking at the method of abortion, 87% of abortions were known to have been performed by curettage (which includes dilatation and evacuation [D&E]) and 10% of all abortions include the mifepristone abortion pill approved by the Clinton administration in September 2000.

States with the highest percentage of abortions by RU 486 include Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont — with all having more than 20% of their abortions done with dangerous drugs.

Most of the abortions done in the U.S. came when the baby was eight weeks along or younger (61%) and the vast majority (87%) were done at 12 weeks into the pregnancy or younger.

About five percent of the reported abortions were known to have occurred after 15 weeks’ gestation: 3.7% at 16–20 weeks and 1.3% at 21 weeks or longer.

In 2004, the highest number of reported legal induced abortions occurred in Florida (91,710), NYC (91,673), and Texas (74,801); while the lowest occurred in Idaho (963) and South Dakota (814).

Wyoming and New Hampshire may have had lower figures but their abortion totals are not adequately reported to the CDC.

About 92 percent of women obtained the abortion in their home state while almost 8 percent went out of state for the abortion.

The District of Columbia (52.6%), Kansas (48.2%), North Dakota (37.5 percent) and Delaware (28.9%) had the highest percentage of out-of-state abortions. Other than Alaska and Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi, and Arizona had the lowest totals.