Minority Women’s Abortion Rates 3-to-5 Times Higher

While it’s commonly known that U.S. abortion rates are down from a peak in 1980, the Guttmacher Institute has unmasked a trend that abortions are becoming more concentrated among women of color and low-income women. The analysis by the sexual and reproductive rights research and policy group  looked at women obtaining abortions since 1974. Guttmacher President Sharon Camp said policymakers face the challenge of redoubling efforts to improve access to subsidized contraceptive services for these populations, helping to prevent unintended pregnancies and promote overall health.

Guttmacher analysts found Hispanic and black women obtained abortions at rates three-to-five times higher than non-Hispanic white women, though rates in all ethnicities and races have dropped sharply in 31 years. Teen abortion rates declined more than 50 percent from 1989 to 2004, which may be attributed to increased use of and more effective contraception. A larger proportion of abortions are occurring very early in pregnancies and the “typical woman obtaining an abortion today is older, more likely to have children, less likely to be married and more likely to be nonwhite,” the research group determined. The full analysis report gives state-by-state breakdowns on abortion numbers.


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