American Abortion Counter
The Counter above is the estimated average number of American abortions that have taken place since it became legal (1973)
Statistics of Legal American Abortions since 1973
*1 Estimates because there is no data as of 2004
Important Information about the Collection of these statistics
You will find it is hard to pin-down an exact number of legal abortions that have taken place. The numbers will vary; depending on which government source you go to. Collection of this data is voluntary; not mandatory. Reporting centers (clinics, counties, and states) are not required to maintain these statistics. As a result, many places (Alaska, for example) simply refuse to collect this data.
Timeliness of reporting is another problem. Since there isn't a requirement to submit this information, the data trickles in from many sources. It may take several years for the data to finally reach the Federal level. This is the reason there are only estimates for the past 3 years.
This timeliness of reporting causes another problem. Most counties and states will submit their report even though they haven't heard from all of their reporting centers. These reports are eventually submitted to various government agencies. What happens to the reports that are submitted late? Some government agencies will take the time to update their report; others will not. As a result, you will see different numbers depending on which report you look at. The reports with the higher numbers are usually more current and accurate.
The number of abortions shown in the chart above are the actual numbers that were submitted (except the last three years). No attempt has been made by the collection agencies to adjust for the "unreported" abortions. How many abortions go unreported? No one really knows, but there are some who say that at least 15% of the abortions go unreported. However, for this report, I am going to use the very conservative number of 4%.
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