New 2012 Abortion Stats
For the last 2-3 years, Abort73’s “U.S. Abortion Statistics” page has been the first page listed in Google’s search results for the term “abortion statistics.” As a result, it has become the most viewed page in our entire site—by quite a lot. Though I’m extremely grateful for such placement, I have found it a bit ironic that the two primary sources of abortion statistics—the organizations from which virtually all of our data comes from—are listed below us: the Guttmacher Institute at #2 and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at #5. Earlier this month, however, our placement at the top of the list may actually have been justified!
One of the difficulties with federal abortion data is that it’s generally released a few years after the fact—a problem I addressed in a May 2013 blog post. The lag time makes it hard to accurately assess abortion’s current state of affairs. In an effort to combat this delay, I made my own calculated estimates for the number of nationwide abortions that occurred in 2009, 2010 and 2011. I used available, state-level data for the states that publish such information and projected the numbers for states that don’t—based on past statistics and nationwide trends. That information was first published in the blog post already mentioned, before it was added to our abortion statistics page.
When the Guttmacher Institute finally published its 2011 abortion statistics this month—its most recent since 2008—they reported that there were 1.06 million U.S. abortions in 2011. In May of last year, I estimated that the U.S. abortion total had dropped from 1.21 million in 2008 to 1.057 million abortions in 2011. As it turns out, that was a fairly accurate calculation. The good news is that reported U.S. abortions are at their lowest levels in forty years. The bad news is that there are still more than one million abortion-vulnerable children killed every single year in the United States of America—which is why Abort73 continues to work at publicizing their plight.
You may not have know this, but the Abort73 website maintains a separate page of abortion facts and statistics for every state in the country. It combines the latest abortion data from both Guttmacher and the CDC—including state abortion totals, rates, trends, restrictions and more. When the necessary data is available, these state pages also include tables that show the percentage of abortions that took place in a given state based on the age of the mother and the age of the child. Each page is a tremendous resource for research, and they all have featured links to Abort73’s most important pages—along with a link to OptionLine.org.
After the release of the latest abortion statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, all of our pages were updated to reflect the new numbers—but we also took it a step further. In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, I added a third statistical section to all of the state facts pages for which it was possible—a section that displays the most recent abortion totals as reported by the individual state. Since most states publish abortion data directly through their own state health departments long before that information is compiled by the CDC, this is a way to cut out the middleman and cut out some of the reporting lag. As I said before, this also gives me a mechanism for estimating annual, nationwide abortion totals in a much more timely fashion.
To date, 24 states have published abortion totals for 2012. Among that number, a reported 333,145 abortions were performed. Those same 24 states reported that 340,431 abortions were performed in 2011. That’s a reduction of 2.14%. Betweeen 2011 and 2012, the births/abortion ratio increased from 5.02 live births per abortion to 5.13 live births per abortion. Total live births remained virtually unchanged—increasing by 0.12%. Taking the 340,431 abortions performed in the 24 reporting states during 2011 and dividing by 1.06 million (the total number of U.S. abortions performed that year), we learn that these 24 states represent about 32% of the nationwide total. Applying that percentage to the numbers reported for 2012, we can project that there were approximately 1.037 million U.S. abortions performed in 2012.
Compared to the alternative, it’s a good thing that abortion numbers are trending down—but we must not lose sight of the fact that the overall reductions have been fairly minuscule. We can and should rejoice in the lives saved, but as we celebrate the 2% who have been rescued, let us not forget the 98% whose lives are still ending in abortion. Abortion totals may have dropped to their lowest levels in decades, but abortion still claims an average of 2,841 innocent human lives in this country—every single day! If that bothers you, take advantage of the educational resources available at Abort73.com, and start sharing them with those around you. Afterall, evil ignored is evil embraced!
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. Subscribe to Michael's Substack for his latest articles and recordings. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.