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Abortion Surveillance: Preliminary Analysis -- United States, 1988

In 1988, 1,371,285 legal abortions were reported to CDC from the 50 states and the District of Columbia (Table 1), an increase of 1.3% over the number reported for 1987. In 1988, the national abortion ratio was 352 legal abortions per 1000 live births, and the national abortion rate (number of legal abortions per 1000 women 15-44 years of age) was 24. As in previous years, approximately 92% of women who had legal abortions were residents of the state in which the procedure was performed.

Women who obtained legal abortions in 1988 were predominately less than 25 years of age, white, and unmarried and had not had any liveborn children. Curettage (suction and sharp) remained the primary abortion procedure (97% 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 and Pregnancy and Infant Health Br, Div of Reproductive Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.

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