Wesleyan Doula Project


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The national conversation around abortion has lead to a lot of assumptions around who gets abortions and why.  Here are some statistics from the Guttmacher Institute that provide more information about abortion in the United States.

We use “women” below to be consistent with the terms of the research, with the acknowledgement that non-gender-binary folks are either excluded or misrepresented by the language of this data.

How often do abortions happen?

  • Total number of pregnancies per year– 5,908,600
  • Percentage of pregnancies ending in birth – 67%
  • Percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion – 18%

Who gets abortions?

  • 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by age 45
  • 17% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, 18–19-year-olds obtain 11%, and teens younger than 15 obtain 0.4%.
  • Women in their 20s account for more than half of all abortions: Women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and women aged 25–29 obtain 24%.
  • Non-Hispanic white women account for 36% of abortions, non-Hispanic black women for 30%, Hispanic women for 25% and women of other races for 9%.
  • 65% of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant or Catholic.
  • Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions.
  • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have at least one child.
  • 42% of women obtaining abortions have incomes below the federal poverty level.
  • The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
  • 51% percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method in the month they got pregnant, most commonly condoms (27%) or a hormonal method (17%).

What does abortion access look like?

What is our project doing?  Since we started in 2012, approximately…

  • 5,000 patients served
  • 70 students trained
  • 10 community members trained
  • 30 clinic staff and practitioners worked with
  • 700 hours spent in clinic