Abortion Statistics

A total of 63,459,781 unborn babies have been lost to abortions since Roe v. Wade

By Dave Andrusko

As we approached the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, NRLC’s Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon has compiled a factsheet estimating that 63,459,781 babies have been aborted since 1973.

The numbers continue to show a steady decline in abortions since 2009, although the 2019 Center for Disease Control (CDC) survey shows a slight increase in abortions.

Dr. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of Education & Research, draws his numbers from the two main sources: the CDC and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Both show significant drops and sustained declines over the past 25 years.

Each source has advantages. Guttmacher contacts abortion clinics directly but does not publish numbers each year. By contrast the CDC publishes each year but depends on voluntary reports from state health department. In addition, California, the nation’s most populous state, New Hampshire, and Maryland did not report abortion data at all.

Dr. O’Bannon pointed out that “In 2019, in the reporting areas included in the report, the CDC found an abortion rate of 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years.” In addition, “The CDC found a ratio of 195 abortions per 1,000 live births.”

However, “the 2019 numbers are still a decrease of 1.3% from the 638,169 abortions recorded in 2015, and nearly 18% lower than what was recorded in 2010 (765,751),” according to Carol Novielli.

For perspective, from 2010 to 2019, the abortion rate decreased an amazing 21% (from 14.4 abortions per l,000 women ages 15-44  to 11.4 per 1,000), and the abortion ratio decreased 13% (from 225 abortions per 1,000 live births to 195 abortions per 1,000 live births).

“The use of the chemical abortion method using mifepristone appears to be on the rise in many states,” said Dr. O’Bannon. “The number of chemical abortions might be lower if women were told the truth about the deaths and injuries associated with chemical abortion methods. Instead, the abortion industry peddles lies about the ease of the method and pushes for fewer and fewer protections for women undergoing a chemical abortion.”

Dr. O’Bannon continued, “Promoters of these pills like to trumpet high safety rates, but neglect to mention how that with hundreds of thousands of women taking these pills, even a couple of percentage points of women hemorrhaging, dealing with infections, and ectopic pregnancy, represents thousands of women desperately seeking treatment, which may or may not be nearby.”

One recent study showed that emergency room visits by chemical abortion patients increased by 500% from 2002 to 2015. Those numbers would only be expected to grow with more lax safety regulations.

The full report from the CDC can be found here.

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