Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2018
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Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2018

  • Published Date:

    November 27 2020

  • Source:
    MMWR Surveill Summ. 69(7):1-29
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.02 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Surveill Summ
  • Description:
    Problem/Condition 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 2018. Description of System Each year, CDC requests abortion data from the central health agencies for 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City. For 2018, 49 reporting areas voluntarily provided aggregate abortion data to CDC. Of these, 48 reporting areas provided data each year during 2009–2018. 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 2017 were assessed as part of CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS). Results A total of 619,591 abortions for 2018 were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Among 48 reporting areas with data each year during 2009–2018, in 2018, a total of 614,820 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.3 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 189 abortions per 1,000 live births. From 2017 to 2018, the total number of abortions and abortion rate increased 1% (from 609,095 total abortions and from 11.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, respectively), and the abortion ratio increased 2% (from 185 abortions per 1,000 live births). From 2009 to 2018, the total number of reported abortions, abortion rate, and abortion ratio decreased 22% (from 786,621), 24% (from 14.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years), and 16% (from 224 abortions per 1,000 live births), respectively. Interpretation Among the 48 areas that reported data continuously during 2009–2018, decreases were observed during 2009–2017 in the total number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions, and these decreases resulted in historic lows for this period for all three measures. These decreases were followed by 1%–2% increases across all measures from 2017 to 2018. Public Health Action The data in this report can help program planners and policymakers identify groups of women with the highest rates of abortion. Unintended pregnancy is a major contributor to induced abortion. Increasing access to and use of effective contraception can reduce unintended pregnancies and further reduce the number of abortions performed in the United States.
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