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Abortion Surveillance: Preliminary Analysis -- United States, 1989

In 1989, 1,396,658 legal abortions were reported to CDC from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City (Table 1), an increase of 1.9% over the number reported for 1988. In 1989, the national abortion ratio was 346 legal abortions per 1000 live births, a decrease from 352 legal abortions per 1000 live births in 1988. The national abortion rate (number of legal abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 years) for 1989 was 24, the same as for 1988. As in previous years, approximately 91% of women who had a legal abortion were residents of the state in which the procedure was performed (Table 1).

Women who obtained legal abortions in 1989 were predominately less than 25 years of age, white, and unmarried and had not had any live-born children. Curettage (suction and sharp) remained the primary abortion procedure (approximately 99% of all such procedures). As in previous years, approximately half of legal abortions were performed in the first 8 weeks of gestation and 88% in the first 12 weeks. Reported by: Statistics and Computer Resources Br, Div of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.

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