Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2021
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Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2021

Filetype[PDF-578.49 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Surveill Summ
    • Description:

      CDC conducts abortion surveillance to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions and number of abortion-related deaths in the United States.

      Period Covered


      Description of System

      Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. For 2021, a total of 48 reporting areas voluntarily provided aggregate abortion data to CDC. Of these, 47 reporting areas provided data each year during 2012–2021. Census and natality data were used to calculate abortion rates (number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years) and ratios (number of abortions per 1,000 live births), respectively. Abortion-related deaths from 2020 were assessed as part of CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS).


      A total of 625,978 abortions for 2021 were reported to CDC from 48 reporting areas. Among 47 reporting areas with data each year during 2012–2021, in 2021, a total of 622,108 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 204 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2020 to 2021, the total number of abortions increased 5% (from 592,939 total abortions), the abortion rate increased 5% (from 11.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years), and the abortion ratio increased 4% (from 197 abortions per 1,000 live births). From 2012 to 2021, the total number of reported abortions decreased 8% (from 673,634), the abortion rate decreased 11% (from 13.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years), and the abortion ratio decreased 1% (from 207 abortions per 1,000 live births).


      Among the 47 areas that reported data continuously during 2012–2021, overall decreases were observed during 2012–2021 in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions; however, from 2020 to 2021, increases were observed across all measures.

      Public Health Action

      Abortion surveillance can be used to help evaluate programs aimed at promoting equitable access to patient-centered quality contraceptive services in the United States to reduce unintended pregnancies.

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