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, 38 (2), 11-45

Abortion Surveillance, United States, 1984-1985

  • PMID: 2506423

Abortion Surveillance, United States, 1984-1985

H W Lawson et al. MMWR CDC Surveill Summ.

Erratum in

  • MMWR CDC Surveill Summ 1989 Nov 3;38(43):746


Since 1983, the number of legal abortions reported to CDC increased by 5% to 1,333,521 in 1984; in 1985, that number decreased by less than 1% to 1,328,570. The national abortion rate was the same for both years-24 per 1,000 females ages 15-44 years. The abortion ratio for 1984 was 364 legally induced abortions per 1,000 live births; the ratio for 1985 was 354 per 1,000. Abortion ratios were higher among women of black and other minority races and among women younger than 15 years of age. Women undergoing legally induced abortions tended 1) to be young, white, and unmarried, 2) to have had no previous live births, and 3) to be having the procedure for the first time. Curettage was the procedure used in 96% of the reported cases. Eleven deaths were associated with legally induced abortions in 1984, and six in 1985. The case-fatality rate in 1985 was 0.5 deaths per 100,000 legally induced abortions, down from the 0.8 per 100,000 reported in 1983 and 1984. Overall, since 1980, the numbers and rates of abortion have had only slight year-to-year fluctuations. The steady increase in the percentage of repeat abortions since 1972 reflects the ongoing availability of legal abortions. Since the beginning of CDC's abortion mortality surveillance, the number of deaths related to legal abortions has decreased 75%, from 24 deaths in 1972 to six deaths in 1985.

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