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, 46 (4), 37-98

Abortion surveillance--United States, 1993 and 1994

  • PMID: 9259216

Abortion surveillance--United States, 1993 and 1994

L M Koonin et al. MMWR CDC Surveill Summ.


Condition: From 1991 through 1994, the number of legal induced abortions reported to CDC declined each year by < or =5% from the number reported for the preceding year.

Reporting period covered: This report summarizes and reviews information reported to CDC regarding legal induced abortions obtained in the United States during 1993 and 1994. This analysis also includes recently reported abortion-related deaths that occurred during 1991.

Description of system: For each year since 1969, CDC has compiled abortion data received from 52 reporting areas: 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City.

Results: In 1993, 1,330,414 legal abortions were reported to CDC, representing a 2.1% decrease from the number reported for 1992; in 1994, 1,267,415 abortions were reported, representing a 4.7% decrease from the number for 1993. In 1993 and 1994, the abortion ratio was 334 and 321 legal induced abortions per 1,000 live births, respectively. In 1993, the abortion rate was 22 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years; in 1994, this rate declined to 21 per 1,000 women. Women who were undergoing an abortion were more likely to be young, white, and unmarried; most were obtaining an abortion for the first time. More than half of all abortions (52%-54%) were performed at < or =8 weeks of gestation, and approximately 88% were before 13 weeks. Approximately 15%-16% of abortions were performed at < or =6 weeks of gestation, 16% were performed at 7 weeks, and 22% at 8 weeks. Younger women (i.e., women aged < or =19 years) were more likely to obtain abortions later in pregnancy than were older women. In 1991, 12 women died as a result of induced abortion: 11 of these deaths were related to legal abortion and one to illegal abortion. During 1991, the case-fatality rate of legal induced abortion was 0.8 abortion-related deaths per 100,000 legal induced abortions.

Interpretation: Since 1990, the number of abortions has declined each year. Since 1987, the abortion-to-live-birth ratio also has declined; in 1994, it was the lowest recorded since 1977. This decrease in the abortion ratio reflected the lower proportion of pregnant women who obtained an induced abortion. As in previous years, deaths related to legal induced abortions occurred rarely (i.e., approximately one death per 100,000 legal induced abortions).

Actions taken: The number and characteristics of women who obtain abortions in the United States should continue to be monitored so that trends in induced abortion can be assessed, efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy can be evaluated, and the preventable causes of morbidity and mortality associated with abortions can be identified and reduced.

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