CDC: Abortions Declined in 2007, Black Women Have Highest Rate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 24, 2011   |   7:15PM   |   Atlanta, GA

A new report the Centers for Disease Control issued today indicates abortions fell in 2007 to their second lowest level in the last 10 years. However, as has been the case for some time, the CDC report is incomplete as it leaves out some states.

The CDC report relies on states to voluntarily report their abortion totals and related information to the federal government agency, and California and New Hampshire have not reported accurate abortion totals for some time, as has Wyoming. Maryland is also not included in the 2007 stats. 

With the largest state in the country not included, the CDC report is considered inferior to the one the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute released in January, because the former Planned Parenthood research arm gets its figures from every state and directly from abortion businesses rather than going through state health departments. That new Guttmacher report showed the previous deline in abortions up to 2005 had slowed and the number of abortions remained the same in 2008.

Still, comparing the current CDC report to the past one and to prior year’s report is instructive.

The new report indicates 827,609 abortions were done in 2007, a decline of about 2 percent from the 852,385 abortions that took place in 2006. The 2007 total is the second lowest since 1998, with only the 2005 figure of 820,151 showing fewer abortions.

The abortion rate, the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, dropped to 16.0 and is tied for the second lowest in the last decades. The abortion ratio, the number of abortions per 1,000 live births, dropped to 231 — which is the lowest figure since 1998, meaning 23.1 percent of pregnancies end in abortion.

Reported abortion numbers, rates, and ratios were 6%, 7%, and 14% lower, respectively, in 2007 than in 1998.

With California’s figures not included, New York led the way with the most number of abortions done per state with 128,036, followed by Florida with 91,954, and Texas with 80,886. South Dakota had just 707 abortions done in 2007 and Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia all saw fewer than 2,000 abortions done in state annually.

Women aged 20–29 years accounted for 56.9% of all abortions in 2007 and for the majority of abortions during the entire period of analysis (1998–2007). In 2007, women aged 20–29 years also had the highest abortion rates (29.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20–24 years and 21.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25–29 years).

In 2007, most (62.3%) abortions were performed at ≤8 weeks’ gestation, and 91.5% were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation. About 7.2 percent of the abortions were done at 14-20 weeks of pregnancy while 1.3 percent were done after 21 weeks. Showing that the national and state partial-birth abortion bans have worked, the CDC showed abortions performed at ≥16 weeks’ gestation decreased by 13%–14% from 1998-2007.

The CDC figures showed that, of the abortions done prior to 8 weeks of pregnancy, when the abortion drug can be used, it was used in 20 percent of the abortions done in 2007 in the United States.

Legal abortions continue to claim the lives of women in the United States.

“Deaths of women associated with complications from abortions for 2007 are being investigated under CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2006, the most recent year for which data were available, six women were reported to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions,” the report said.

Lloking at the women from the 25 areas that reported abortions and cross-classified race/ethnicity data for 2007, white women accounted for the largest percentage of abortions (37.1%), followed by black women (34.4%), Hispanic women (22.1%), and women of other races (6.4%). White women had the lowest abortion rates (8.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratios (144 abortions per 1,000 live births); in contrast, black women had the highest abortion rates (32.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratios (480 abortions per 1,000 live births).

Among the 41 areas that reported marital status for 2007, 83.7% of all women obtaining abortions were unmarried, and 16.3% were married.

Among the 41 areas that reported the number of previous live births for 2007, 41.4%, 26.3%, and 32.3% of all women who obtained abortions had previously had zero, one, or two or more live births, respectively. Among the 41 areas that reported the number of previous abortions for 2007, the majority of women (55.9%) who obtained abortions had not previously had an abortion; 25.1% and 19.0%, respectively, had previously had either one abortion or two or more abortions.