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Teenage Abortion Statistics
Teenage abortion statistics often correlate with unplanned teen pregnancy rates. This article contains stats and facts about teen pregnancy and abortion. Keep reading for information on the physical and emotional effects of abortion, and alternatives to abortion.
Teenage abortion statistics are strongly linked to teen pregnancy rates, and the numbers for both have declined from their peak in the 1980s. The numbers in the US are still high compared to most other developed nations, however, and because of the negative physical, emotional, and social consequences that pregnancy and abortion can have on a teen's life, these statistics are concerning.
Abortion statistics on abortion cover all cases of abortion. Though many abortions occur because teens are facing an unwanted pregnancy, which is known as elective abortion, abortions are also performed in cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy is threatening the health of the mother or the fetus is not viable.
In recent years the number of teen pregnancies and teen abortions have declined; according to the Guttmacher Institute, there has been a 50% drop in teen abortions since the peak in late 1980s. More teens waiting to have sex until they are older has helped to reduce these numbers, as has better contraceptive use. USA Today reports, however, that the last few years have seen a slight increase in teen pregnancy rates. Birth rates increased 4% and abortion rates increased 1%. This may be due to any number of causes, including poor sex education among teens, social trends, or even the influence of the media.
Some other abortion statistics and facts about teen pregnancy:
Abortion is legal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but the exact rules regarding abortions vary from state to state. Many states require a teen to have parental consent or intervention by a judge in order to get an abortion.
Teenage abortion statistics on side effects of teen abortion are not well documented, but some general information is available.
MedlinePlus reports that teenage abortions later in pregnancy, when teens are more likely to seek abortions, are at higher risk for complications, like:
Physical complications of teenage abortions are relatively rare. According to the CDC, death of pregnant teens due to abortion is very rare, with abortion complications killing fewer than 20 teens and women each year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports, however, that many teens experience negative emotional responses to abortion, such as sadness, and teens who get teenage abortions may be at increased risk for substance abuse.
Anyone may experience these side effects, including teenagers who do not expect to feel negative emotions about teenage abortion. These problems are more likely, however, in those who:
Counseling and discussion of all of a pregnant teen’s options, including parenting and adoption, is usually recommended for teens prior to the decision to have an abortion due to abortion’s potential negative emotional effects.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, "ASPE Brief - Background Statistics - Teen Sexual Activity" [online]
Centers for Disease Control, Division of Reproductive Health, "Abortion Surveillance - United States, 2000" [online]
Guttmacher Institute, "U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity" [online]
Sharon Jayson, USA Today, "Teen Pregnancy, Abortion Rates Rise" [online]
Rose Welton, Livestrong, "Teen Abortion Facts" [online]
U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus, "Abortion" [online]
American Pregnancy Association, Abortion, "Possible Physical Side Effects" and "Possible Emotional Side Effects" [online]
Related Article: Surviving an Unplanned Pregnancy >>