CDCs Abortion Surveillance System FAQs

Abortion Surveillance—Findings and Reports

Abortion Surveillance 2020

In 2020, 620,327 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. Among 48 reporting areas with data each year during 2011–2020, in 2020, a total of 615,911 abortions were reported, the abortion rate was 11.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 198 abortions per 1,000 live births.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of abortions decreased 2%, the abortion rate decreased 2%, and the abortion ratio increased 2%. From 2011 to 2020, the number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions decreased 15%, 18%, and 9%, respectively.

Similar to previous years, in 2020, women in their twenties accounted for more than half of abortions (57.2%). Nearly all abortions in 2020 took place early in gestation: 93.1% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (5.8%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (0.9%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation. Early medical 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 2020, 51.0% of all abortions were early medical abortions. Use of early medical abortion increased 22% from 2019 to 2020 and 154% from 2011 to 2020. Source: MMWR. 2022;71(10).