HomeoldCDC Abortion Surveillance Figures show decline of 4.2% in 2012

CDC Abortion Surveillance Figures show decline of 4.2% in 2012

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For some strange reason, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its latest abortion numbers the day before Thanksgiving. But a wonderful holiday gift it was–the lowest number of abortions CDC has recorded since 1973!

The number of abortions, according to the CDC, declined by 4.2% in 2012, a drop of more than 31,000 in just one year’s time. Abortion rates and ratios also continued to show declines, indicating that increasing numbers of American women are rejecting abortion as a solution to unexpected pregnancy.

Bear in mind as NRLC has explained on numerous occasions, the CDC, unlike the Guttmacher Institute, does not aggressively seek out numbers from “abortion providers.” Thus, while CDC’s trends track Guttmacher’s, the absolute number will always be considerably smaller. Even so, the CDC report confirms that the welcome drop in the number of abortions continues.

Relying on reports from state health departments, the CDC reported 699,202 abortions for 2012. This figure, however, does not include abortions from California, the nation’s most populous state, or from New Hampshire or Maryland.

The Guttmacher Institute, which surveys clinics directly and does have data from all fifty states, reported 1.06 million abortions, a year earlier, for 2011.

In the states that the CDC did survey, it found an abortion rate of 13.2 abortions for every 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. By comparison, in 1980 the abortion rate was almost double–25/1,000.

For 2011, the abortion ratio–the number of abortions per1,000 live births–the CDC found 210 abortions per 1,000 live births. In 1984, the abortion ration was 364 abortions per 1,000 live births.

“We’ve a long way to go, but this is definitely encouraging news,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., director of education and research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund. “Told the truth about their unborn babies, given information about realistic alternatives to abortion, more and more women are choosing life for their babies.”

Abortion numbers have continued to go down in the midst of a hostile administration and half a billion in tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain. This is a tribute to the determination and effort of pro-lifers in passing federal and state legislation protecting pain capable unborn children.

Look for more news and analysis of the latest CDC abortion surveillance report in National Right to Life News Today.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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