Abortions are not rare. More than 59 million abortions are estimated to have happened in America since 1973, and more than 25,000 happen every year in Michigan. Both national and Michigan statistics are available that give details on who has abortions and where they occur.
National Abortion Statistics
According to the latest estimates from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there were 862,300 induced surgical and medical abortions performed during 2017 in the United States. That figure is down 46.4 percent from their high in 1990, when an estimated 1.61 million abortions were performed. From 1973 to 2017 the Guttmacher Institute has estimated a total of 58,177,900 abortions.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also monitors abortions in the United States. Since 1997 they have received incomplete results or no abortion statistics from various states including Maryland, California, and New Hampshire. The latest figures from the CDC were 638,169 abortions in 2015. A total of 44,651,889 abortions have been reported to the CDC from 1973 to 2015.
Using the Guttmacher Institute numbers, we estimate there have been more than 59 million abortions in the United States from 1973 through 2018.
According to the CDC, 43.6 percent of the women who had abortions in 2015 had obtained an abortion previously in their life. 19.3 percent of women who aborted had two or more previous abortions.
In 2015, 36 percent of abortions were performed on non-Hispanic Black women. Only 12.6 percent of the U.S. population is non-Hispanic Black according to the 2010 census.
Michigan Abortion Statistics
From the latest MDHHS Report:
A total of 26,716 induced abortions were reported in Michigan in 2018, which was a 0.5 percent increase from the total of 26,594 reported in 2017 and a 45.6 percent decrease since 1987 (the year with the largest number of induced abortions).
Michigan residents received 95.7 percent of the induced abortions that occurred in Michigan in 2018. This proportion is similar to that which was observed in previous years.
In 2018, about half of the resident women receiving abortions had no previous induced abortions. In general, from 1985 through 2018, a gradual increase has been observed with the proportion of women reporting two or more induced abortions, going from 14.6 percent in 1985 to 23.3 percent in 2018. The proportion of women who had no previous induced abortion has generally declined, falling from 59.5 percent in 1985 to 50.9 percent in 2018.
In 2018, 87.4 percent of the Michigan women who obtained an induced abortion were not married, a 5 percent increase from the 82.4 percent reported in 1985.
About 65 percent of the resident women obtaining induced abortions in 2018 had a previous term pregnancy. Of the women who had a previous term pregnancy, over 38 percent in 2018 had at least two or more term pregnancies.
The majority of Michigan residents receiving induced abortions (37.5 percent) were under 25 years of age, while 8.7 percent were less than 20 years old. These are much smaller proportions than the 64.6 and 30.6 percent observed, respectively, in 1985.
Making Sense of 59 Million: The Sound of Abortion
The Sound of Abortion is a popular YouTube video. Using only a microphone, metal BBs, and a tin can, prolife speaker Peter Heck puts the lives lost to abortion in America since 1973 into perspective.
Abortions in the Black Community
Abortion has a disparate impact on the Black community. Statistics in the United States and Michigan back up evidence that abortion providers target poor and minority communities for business purposes. Learn more about the numbers.
Abortions in the Hispanic Community
This bilingual factsheet provides statistics for Hispanic abortions in the United States.
Additional Factsheets on Abortion Statistics
Right to Life of Michigan has many factsheets available that give greater detail on several topics involving abortion statistics, nationally and in Michigan. Please visit our factsheets page for more information.