How many abortions are performed in the United States?

ultrasoundThe year 2013 brought the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. How many lives have been lost since that ruling?

The most reliable source of information for abortion statistics is the Guttmacher Institute, which once served as a research arm for Planned Parenthood and is named for Alan Guttmacher, a former president of Planned Parenthood. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) collects abortion data as well, but states are not required to report their totals to the CDC, and several states are often not counted at all. This means that the CDC’s statistics are often far lower than the more accurate numbers from the Guttmacher Institute, since Guttmacher conducts its own private research and goes straight to the source: abortionists themselves.

For the year 2008, for example, the CDC reported 825,564 abortions, while the Guttmacher Institute found that hundreds of thousands more abortions were performed, at 1,212,350 abortions for the year 2008. This means that one abortion was performed every 26 seconds.

And in the 40 years since Roe v. Wade was passed, according to the NRLC, which analyzed data from the CDC and the Guttmacher Institute, over 52 million abortions have been performed.

  • The number is actually higher. See

    55,772,015 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973 http://www.lifenews.com/2013/01/18/55772015-abortions-in-america-since-roe-vs-wade-in-1973/

    • LoveTheLeast8

      The 55 million number is likely accurate but it is based on an estimate of unreleased official numbers. The guess is probably right but it looks like Cassy wanted to stay on the safe side by saying “over 52 million.”

      • Mike Gibson

        How has God let this gone on? Hitler was nothing compared to America. No matter what is being said by the pro-abortionist can never be justified. THIS IS MURDER !
        How President Obama can yell the words “God bless Planned Parenthood.” So sad…..

  • Richard Hass

    Casey, as Steve Ertelt points out, you are 3.7 million short with your stated 52 million number. Please update your article.

    • Cassy Fiano

      Considering what I said was over 52 million abortions, I don’t see how the article is incorrect. 55 million would, in fact, be over 52 million abortions, correct? I’ve seen several estimates ranging from 52 million to 55 million, which is why I phrased it how I did. The exact number, of course, is not known.

    • LoveTheLeast8

      Richard, 55 million is “over 52 million” so “over 52 million” is accurate. The last few year official reports have not come out so the 55 million number is based on guessing what the official reports will come in at. At consistent levels with the last report it would come to about 55 million but saying “over 52 million” is safer for sticking to actually released numbers.

  • Harry Lawrence

    They say 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriages at a rate of 500,000 per year. If you add in the 1.2 million abortions per year that would that would mean only 800,000 babies are born per year? Looked up babies being born per year in the U.S. is just over 4 million? Somethings not adding up?

  • clunkygirl

    I don’t think you add the 1.2 million abortions into that first figure since it describes pregnancies that end in miscarriage and does not include abortion in those pregnancies. So with that number, if 500,000 miscarriages occur at 25% of all pregnancies then the original number of pregnancies was 2 million. Even with multiple births per pregnancy, this number is very short of 4 million so something is wrong with that statistic.

  • Bob Shuttleworth

    No it stated that about half of pregnancies were unintended and about 1 in 4 of them ended in abortions.