U.S. abortions increase by nearly 70,000 in three years, reversing long-term decline

Sad woman Credit MikeDotta Shutterstock CNA MikeDotta/Shutterstock.

The number of U.S. abortions increased by nearly 70,000 in three years, according to data compiled by a pro-abortion research organization. The increase, it says, reverses a 30-year decline.

A total of 930,160 unborn babies were aborted in 2020 — an 8% increase from the 862,320 abortions in 2017, according to a new report published by the Guttmacher Institute on Wednesday.

“The loss of each of these children is incalculable,” Lila Rose, head of the pro-life group Live Action, tweeted in response to the report.

In women between the ages of 15 and 44, the abortion rate increased 7%, from 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women in 2017 to 14.4 per 1,000 women in 2020. The abortion ratio — the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies — increased 12%, from 18.4% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2020.

This means that, in 2020, roughly one in five unborn babies was aborted (this figure does not include miscarriages).

The institute, once associated with Planned Parenthood, collects data on abortions by contacting every known U.S. abortion provider every three years. It completed this most recent report in May, with data representing 1,687 facilities that provided abortions in 2019 or 2020.

Of those contacted, 52% of facilities responded to the Guttmacher Institute, which also used state health department data to determine the number of abortions provided at 17% of facilities. The total number was estimated for the remaining 31%. The number does not account for “self-managed abortion," which refers to abortions that occur outside a formal medical setting.

The new report found that the number of abortions increased in all four regions of the country between 2017 and 2020: the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast. 

The Guttmacher Institute listed factors that might have impacted the number: Medicaid expansion; Trump-Pence administration policy; abortion funds; the pandemic, and state laws.

While the CDC also conducts an abortion surveillance report, its voluntarily-provided data does not include three states (California, Maryland, and New Hampshire).

The report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to issue a decision in the highly-anticipated abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A leak in that case suggested that justices may overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide, when deciding Dobbs. If that happens, abortion legislation could be left up to each individual state.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.