Abortion Surveillance Findings and Reports

At a glance

Find reports and data from CDC's Abortion Surveillance System for 2011 to 2021.

Findings and Reports

Abortion Surveillance 2021

In 2021, 625,978 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 48 reporting areas. Among 47 reporting areas with data each year during 2012–2021, in 2021, a total of 622,108 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 204 abortions per 1,000 live births.

From 2020 to 2021, the number of abortions increased 5%, the abortion rate increased 5%, and the abortion ratio increased 4%. From 2012 to 2021, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 8%, 11%, and 1%, respectively.

Similar to previous years, in 2021, women in their twenties accounted for more than half of abortions (57.0%). Nearly all abortions in 2021 took place early in gestation: 93.5% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation; a smaller number of abortions (5.7%) were performed at 14–20 weeks' gestation, and even fewer (0.9%) were performed at ≥21 weeks' gestation. Early medication abortion is defined as the administration of medication(s) to induce an abortion at ≤9 completed weeks' gestation, consistent with the current Food and Drug Administration labeling for mifepristone (implemented in 2016). In 2021, 53.0% of all abortions were early medication abortions. Use of early medication abortion increased 3% from 2020 to 2021 and 137% from 2012 to 2021.

Available Data

Besides the data available in the annual Abortion Surveillance report, data from 2012 to 2021 are also available for abortions distributed by area of residence and area of clinical service. These data are consistent with data reported to CDC for each year's Abortion Surveillance report. No additional data are available for public use. For other abortion data, search the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE/PubMed or MedlinePlus bibliographic reference.

Abortions Distributed by Area of Residence and Area of Clinical Service

  • Kortsmit K, Nguyen AT, Mandel MG, et al. Abortion Surveillance—United States, 2021. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2023;72(9):1–29.