Changes in U.S. Abortion Rates by Subgroup, 2000 and 2008

Rachel K. Jones, Guttmacher Institute
Megan L. Kavanaugh, Guttmacher Institute

Though the U.S. abortion rate declined every year between 1990 and 2005, research suggests that abortion has become increasingly concentrated among low-income women. We combine data from several sources, including the 2008 Abortion Patient Survey (APS), the 2008 Current Population Survey, and the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth to estimate abortion rates by subgroups. We examine changes in abortion rates between 2008 and 2000, the year the previous APS was conducted. We find that the abortion rate declined 8% over the 8-year period. While abortion rates declined for almost all groups examined, it increased 18% for women with family incomes below the federal poverty level. Groups with higher than average declines in abortion include women under the age of 20, non-Hispanic black women, and women with family incomes above the poverty level. The findings suggest that poor women are most impacted when restrictions are placed on abortion.

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Presented in Session 93: Abortion I