October Baby Ministry Resources

Facts About Abortion

Facts you may not know about abortion in the United States ...

  • 22 percent of pregnancies in the United States end in abortion
  • 40 percent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion
  • 18 percent of women having an abortion in the United States are teenagers
  • More than half of U.S. abortions are performed on women in their 20s
  • In the United States, 1.21 million abortions are performed annually
  • Since 1973, the year that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion, about 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States
  • Of abortion providers in the U.S.:
    • 95 percent offer abortions from eight weeks after the first missed menstrual period
    • 64 percent offer second-trimester abortions (abortions after 13 weeks)
    • 23 percent offer abortions at 20 weeks
    • 11 percent offer abortions at 24 weeks
  • The number of abortions has trended down over the past 20 years:
    • In 1973, there were 16.3 abortions per 1,000 U.S. women age 15 to 44
    • The number peaked in 1983 at 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women
    • In 2008, the number is 19.6 per 1,000 women
  • Total abortions are down as well:
    • In 2000, there were 1.31 million U.S abortions.
    • In 2008, there were 1.21 million U.S. abortions
SOURCE: The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Public Opinion on Abortion

The Gallup polling organization has charted public opinion on abortion since 1996. At that time:
  • 56 percent of respondents identified as pro-choice
  • 33 percent of respondents identified as pro-life
In the 2011 survey:
  • 47 percent identified as pro-choice.
  • 47 percent identified as pro-life.
SOURCE: Gallup

No statistics track the number of infants surviving an abortion attempt. Many children who survived attempted abortions have grown up and become pro-life advocates, including:

Gianna Jessen—Testified before a congressional committee in 1996 at age 19, she remains a pro-life advocate. OCTOBER BABY was written after director Jon Erwin heard Gianna tell her life story.

Sarah Smith—In 1970, Sarah Smith's mother was pregnant but did not know, nor did doctors know, she was carrying twins. Sarah's brother was aborted. A few weeks after that, Sarah's mother realized she was carrying another child. Sarah and her mother, Betty, speak nationwide advocating alternatives to abortion.

Heidi Huffman Smith—In 1978, Heidi Huffman Smith's mother, then age 17, had an abortion that Heidi survived. Learning weeks after the fact that she was still pregnant, Heidi's mother carried her to term. Heidi—a wife and mother herself—speaks with her mother nationwide on the pro-life issue.

Abortion Alternatives

Crisis Pregnancy Centers
  • About 3,000 Pregnancy Resource Centers in the United States offer a range of services to women facing unplanned pregnancies
  • Advising alternatives to abortion, the centers offer pregnancy tests and a range of services including help in obtaining housing, clothes, baby needs, medical care, financial support and information about adoption
  • As many abortion providers operate for-profit, non-profit pregnancy counseling centers stress that their advice is offered without financial motive
SOURCE: National Right To Life
AFABethany Christian ServicesCarenetCWAFamilyLifeFocus on the FamilyHeartbeat InternationalHope For OrphansNCFFOptionLineStudents For Life For AmericaThe Hope Line