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Abortion surveillance annual summary 1974
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Abortion surveillance annual summary 1974
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    Over the past 25 years, the term "surveillance" has broadened to include the collection, analysis, and dissemination of epidemiologic information related not only to infectious disease but also to such diverse public health concerns as air pollution, cancer and birth defects, Rh hemolytic disease, and abortion. Recognizing the emerging importance of abortion as a public health issue and the absence of national abortion statistics, the Family Planning Evaluation Division (FPED) initiated epidemiologic surveillance of abortion in 1969. Since then, FPED has been compiling, analyzing, and distributing data on abortion in the United States. The objectives of this surveillance are twofold: 1) to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining abortion and 2) to eliminate preventable mortality and morbidity related to abortion. The present report documents the most current data available to CDC for the years 1969-1974 and updates previous Abortion Surveillance Reports. This issue provides: 1) demographic and epidemiologic data on legal abortions in 1974, 2) trends in the practice of legal abortion from 1972-1974, 3) abortion-related mortality data for the 3-year period 1972-1974, including types of procedures, death-to-case rates, and causes of death, and 4) rates of abortion morbidity derived from CDC's 4-year multicenter study of abortion complications, the Joint Program for the Study of Abortion/CDC (JPSA/CDC). In addition, this report summarizes 2 important abortion studies in the Special Studies section.

    In 1974, the 50 states and the District of Columbia reported 763,476 legal abortions to the Center for Disease Control, an increase of 24% over 1973. The national abortion ratio increased by 23% from 196 abortions per 1,000 live births in 1973 to 242 in 1974, representing nearly 1 legal abortion for every 4 live births. The national abortion rate rose from 14 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 1973 to 17 in 1974, an increase of 21%. In 1974, for the first time, all 50 states and the District of Columbia reported that abortion services had been performed within their boundaries. The redistribution of legal abortions into states which had restrictive laws before 1973 continued in 1974. Concurrently, the trend noted in 1973 toward performance of abortions in a woman's state of residence continued in 1974, with 87% of women undergoing abortion in their home state, as compared to 75% in 1973 and only 56% in 1972 (Summary Table).

    SUGGESTED CITATION: Center for Disease Control: Abortion Surveillance 1974, issued April 1976

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