*Overall, women in
developed and developing regions have strikingly similar
abortion levels--39 procedures per 1,000 women and 34 per
*About 26 million women have legal abortions each year.
About 20 million women have abortions in countries were
abortion is severly restricted or prohibited by law.
*39% of the world's women live under governments
with severly restrictive abortion laws: 25% of these
women live under goverments that prohibit abortion except
to save a woman's life or is prohibited altogether; 10%
are in countries that allow abortion only when it is
necessary to protect a woman's physical health or her
life, and 4% in places where abortion is permitted only
to protect a woman's physical or mental health.
*Abortion mortality is low in developed countries, where
the procedure is usually legal--less than 1 death per
100,000 abortions. But in developing regions where
abortion is often illegal or highly restricted, abortion
mortality is hundreds of times higher--330 deaths per
*The World Health Organization estimates that almost 20
million unsafe abortions occur each year--19 million in
*An estimated 43% of women will have at least 1 abortion
by the time they are 45 years old.
*Catholic women are 29% more likely than Protestants to
have an abortion, and are just as likely as all women
nationally to do so.
*About 14,000 women have abortions each year following
*The number of abortion providers declined by 14% between
1992 and 1996. 86% of all U.S. counties lacked an
abortion provider in 1996.
*Almost half of the women having abortions beyond 15
weeks of gestation say they were delayed because of
problems in affording, finding or getting to abortion
services. Teens are more likely than older women to delay
having an abortion until after 16 weeks of pregnancy,
when medical risks associated with abortion increase
*Without publicly funded family planning services, an
estimated 1.3 million additional unplanned pregnancies
would occur annually; about 632,300 would end in
abortion--at least a 40% increase in the incidence.
(Info from The Alan
Guttmacher Institute, which uses