The number of abortions increased in the United States between 2017 and 2020, reversing a 30-year decline, according to a report released Wednesday.
Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy group that supports abortion rights, surveys abortion providers every three years. Its latest Abortion Provider Census provides new insights from data collected in 2020.
How many abortions are there in the U.S.?
According to Guttmacher, there were 930,160 abortions in 2020, an 8% increase from the 862,320 performed in 2017.
Fewer people got pregnant in 2020, and a larger proportion of those who did terminated their pregnancies — about 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in abortion. There was also a 6% decline in births between 2017 and 2020 — 3.6 million — although that drop is more the result of fewer pregnancies to begin with than the number of abortions.
In 2020, there were 14.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44, compared to a rate of 13.5 abortions in 2017.
National abortion numbers in 2017 reached their lowest point since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which legalized the procedure nationwide, according to The Associated Press.
The report said “there were no clear patterns” to explain the increase or decrease in each state, saying a variety of policies and other factors could contribute.
Where have abortions increased the most?
Abortions increased in all four regions of the country, according to Guttmacher, with the largest increase in the West, 12%, and the smallest in the Northeast, 2%.
The abortion rate per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in Utah didn’t increase in 2020, although the total number of abortions rose 4%, from 2,990 to 3,120.
Here are the states with the biggest jumps in abortion rate per 1,000 women ages 15-44, between 2017 and 2020:
- Oklahoma, 100% increase.
- District of Columbia, 62% increase.
- Mississippi, 41% increase.
- Illinois, 28% increase.
- New Mexico, 26% increase.
And here’s where abortion rates per 1,000 women ages 15-44 decreased the most between 2017 and 2020:
- Missouri, 98% decrease.
- South Dakota, 74% decrease.
- Wyoming, 32% decrease.
- West Virginia, 30% decrease.
- Louisiana, 24% decrease.