About The Study
The Guttmacher Institute is a US-based not-for-profit organization that advances information about reproductive and sexual health worldwide. The Institute conducted a nationally-representative survey of women in the United States assess the number who seek abortion services. One of the goals of this survey was to provide a look at the profile of women who seek abortions in the US.
Who Seeks Abortion Services In The US?
What is clear from this study’s findings is that abortion services are used by women of all walks of life. But, one startling change found over the last decade is that poor and low-income women now represent almost 60% of the women who seek abortions in the United States – up from 27% in 2000 and 42% in 2008. The Institute notes that this dramatic shift is likely due two factors: the economy (i.e., the economic recession, and more women now living in poverty) and the growing disparity in unintended pregnancies between poor and low-income women and middle- and upper-class women.
The findings otherwise present a consistent profile of women seeking abortion services:
A broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions: Fifty-eight percent of abortion patients in 2008 were in their 20s; 45% were never-married and not living with a partner; 61% were already mothers; 42% were living below the federal poverty line; 36% were white; 59% had at least some college education; and 73% were religiously affiliated. But certain groups of women—those who were in their 20s, cohabiting, black or poor—were overrepresented among abortion patients.