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.

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.

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