Communications Department

Report: Abortion Numbers Essentially Unchanged

Jan 11, 2011 | 2011 Press Releases

More than 100,000 unborn children aborted monthly

WASHINGTON – A new report released today by the Guttmacher Institute (formerly a special research affiliate of Planned Parenthood), “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008,” found that for 2008, the annual number of abortions remained essentially level with the numbers it reported for 2005 in its last published survey.  The report found 1.212 million abortions in 2008, compared with 1.206 million abortions in 2005, the difference accounted for by abortions from previously uncounted abortion “providers” discovered since the 2005 survey.  The total is still far below the peak of 1.6 million abortions reported for 1990.

 “Grassroots pro-life legislative and educational efforts, along with the practical, life-affirming alternatives to abortion offered by pregnancy care centers across the United States, have certainly had an impact in preventing an increase in the annual number of abortions,” said Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRLC director of education and research.  “But with abortion continuing to claim the lives of more than 100,000 unborn children every month, we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to educate the public and enact laws that protect unborn children and their mothers from the dangers of abortion and make sure they know that help is available.”

Not surprisingly, the report found that 199,000 of the reported abortions – or roughly 16% of the total – were chemical abortions (what the report calls “medication abortions”) utilizing the abortion pill mifepristone (known as RU-486) or methotrexate representing a 24% increase in the use of these dangerous and painful abortifacients.  Disregarding the first rule of medical ethics — “do no harm” — and several serious warning signs, the FDA approved RU-486 for use in the United States in 2000.  Since that time, hundreds of chemical abortion patients have ended up hospitalized with hemorrhages, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, or serious infections, which have proven deadly on occasion.  

“RU-486 not only goes after a whole new customer base with the false promise of an easy, safe alternative to surgical abortion, but its increased use lets the abortion industry shift to a method that that requires less overhead to administer, thereby adding to their ever-increasing bottom line,” Dr. O’Bannon noted.  “With the median cost of $490, Guttmacher found for a chemical abortion, the new method represents more than $97.5 million in gross revenues for an industry already making hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The report also found at least 1,793 abortion “providers” in the United States.  Significantly, among these, it found an increase in the number offering abortions after the midway point of pregnancy (generally considered 20 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period or LMP). Twenty-three percent offered abortions after 20 weeks LMP, compared to 20% in the 2005 report; eleven percent offered abortions after 24 weeks LMP compared to just 8% three years earlier.  This translates to at least 350 providers who offer these late abortions. 

“Pro-abortion advocates have long said that they want abortion to be ‘rare.’ Yet, sadly for mothers and their unborn children, it is clear from these latest findings that abortion remains a big business in the United States and that the abortion industry is continually working to increase both their reach and their bottom line,” Dr. O’Bannon added.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide, is the nation’s largest pro-life group. National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.