The News Service of Florida
After hitting record lows the previous year, a report released Wednesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the numbers and rates of abortions increased in 2018.
For the year, 619,591 abortions were reported to the CDC from 49 areas across the nation. But the CDC analysis focused on 614,820 procedures that were reported from 48 areas that have been reporting the data to the CDC since 2009. The 614,820 abortions in 2018 were an increase from 609,095 reported in 2017. An abortion rate — the number of abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 — was 11.3 in 2018, up from 11.2 in 2017. Also, there were 189 abortions for every 1,000 births in 2018, compared to 185 abortions per 1,000 births the prior year.
Rates in Florida, which had 70,082 abortions reported in 2018, were higher than the broader rates. In Florida,18.1 out of every 1,000 women obtained abortions in 2018, and there were 317 abortions for every 1,000 live births. Nearly 57 percent of the abortions in Florida in 2018 were performed on women between ages 20 and 29. That put Florida on track with the broader numbers, which indicate that nearly 58 percent of the abortions in 2018 were performed on women in their 20s.
Florida reported having 101 girls under age 15 who had abortions, and 4,370 abortions were performed on girls and women between ages 15 and 19.
The report also indicates that across the 48 reporting areas, most abortions, 77 percent, occurred in early gestation, at nine or less weeks. In Florida, more than 89 percent of the abortions in 2018 were performed at nine weeks gestation or less. More than 92 percent of the abortions were preformed at 13 weeks or less across the 48 reporting areas. In Florida, 96 percent of the abortions performed in 2018 were at 13 weeks gestation or less.
Information contained in the report is used for a number of public health purposes, according to the report’s authors, including identifying women who are at high risk of unintended pregnancy. When used in conjunction with birth data and pregnancy loss estimates, the abortion surveillance report helps to calculate pregnancy rates.