The good news: In 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available), the U.S. abortion rate fell to the lowest point since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973*.
The bad news: There were approximately 926,200 abortions performed in 2014*.
Breaking down the numbers:
- Women in their 20s account for the majority of abortions; 58.9% of all reported abortions**
- Abortions for adolescents (<20) account for 10.7% of all reported abortions**
- 22.6% of all abortions are performed by early medical abortion**
What is an early medical abortion? Commonly referred to as RU-486, it is three pills taken to cut off the supply of blood and nutrients to the developing embryo and a fourth, taken two days later, which causes the uterus to contract and expel the embryo. Three to five percent of medical abortions result in a visit to the emergency room.
Two weeks later the woman returns to the doctor to confirm that the abortion is complete. However, 1 to 4 percent of women will still need a surgical abortion to terminate the pregnancy.
Not included in any of the numbers above are abortions performed by women taking Plan B One Step, frequently referred to as the “Morning After Pill”.
Plan B One Step is available over the counter to people 15 years or older.