One-third of US abortions happen in restrictive states

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DENVER (KDVR) — Demand for abortions has been rising in recent years into what is now a patchwork of state-level laws.

The yearly number of abortions started rising slightly after several decades of decline. The Abortion Surveillance System from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 1.4 million in 1990. That bottomed out at 613,000 in 2017 but had risen to 630,000 by 2019.

Nationally, there were 14.4 abortions performed for every 100,000 Americans in 2020.

Most abortions happen in half a dozen states with high populations. California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois together account for just under half the country’s abortions in 2020, according to figures compiled by abortion rights advocacy organization Guttmacher Institute.

Rates of abortion differ widely from state to state. The District of Columbia had the nation’s highest rate in 2020, with 49 abortions per every 100,000 people. New Jersey (29.2), New York (28.8), Maryland (25.9) and Illinois (21.3) come next.

States with more restricted access have far lower abortion rates.

Missouri had the nation’s lowest abortion rate in 2020, with 0.1 abortions per 100,000 people. South Dakota (0.8), Wyoming (0.9), West Virginia (3.1) and Utah (4.4) come next. Each either currently has plans to further restrict abortion access following the Supreme Court ruling.

The majority of abortions in 2020 happened in states that abortion rights advocacy organization Guttmacher Institute does not list as having plans to further abortion restrictions.

One-third of 2020 abortions happened in states that have passed abortion access restrictions in the last year, have trigger laws or have other plans to restrict abortion access. These include Florida, Texas, Michigan and Georgia. The remaining two-thirds happened in states that do not have similar laws or plans.

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