Statistical Portrait of Women Obtaining Abortions
Throughout the 1980s, about 1.5 million abortions have been performed on American women each year, according to a private survey. The number climbed steadily after the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion - from about 750,000 to more than a million by 1976, the survey showed.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Who are the women seeking and obtaining abortions? The following statistics have been reported by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based organization that studies reproductive issues:
Women in their 20s obtain more than half of all reported abortions, about 55 percent. About 24 percent are obtained by teen-agers - 14 percent by those aged 18 or 19.
About 42 percent are obtained by Protestants; about 31 percent by Catholics. Less than 2 percent are obtained by Jewish women. About 22 percent of those obtaining abortions claim no religious affiliation.
Women with family incomes below $11,000 accounted for one-third of all abortions. That group comprises about 29 percent of all women of child-bearing age.
White women have 68.6 percent of all abortions. But non-white women, who make up 16.7 percent of the childbearing-age population, have 31.4 percent of all abortions.
About 63 percent of the women obtaining abortions are unmarried.
Unmarried women living with a man constitute 17.4 percent of the abortion clients. They make up only 3.4 percent of all childbearing-age women.
Women attending school, who number about one-fifth of the childbearing-age population, obtain 31 percent of the abortions each year.