Abortion in numbers

With Roe v. Wade in danger, getting a safe abortion will become more difficult and expensive.

Aabortions have been legal in the United States for nearly 50 years, following the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. That could change with judges set to overturn landmark ruling, leaked draft notice says obtained by Politico Last week. This means that the right to abortion would be rejected at the state level.

Estimates vary as to how many people undergo the procedure each year, with 630,000 in the lower bracket to around 886,000 according to other models. The median cost of a medical abortion, which accounts for just over half of the total, was $560 in 2020 without insurance. For context, about one-third of U.S. households would be unable or struggling to afford a $400 emergency expense. A patchwork system with varying bans in different states means that access to safe abortions, whether medical or surgical, will become more difficult and expensive, especially as people will be forced to travel greater distances. Here’s a look at some numbers.


FAILURE RATES OF CONTRACT PILLS, PATCHES AND RINGS

No contraceptive method is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, not even vasectomy or tubal ligation. Aside from surgical procedures, long-acting reversible contraceptives have the lowest failure rates with implants and intrauterine devices, known as IUDs, having less than a 1% risk of unborn pregnancy. desired during the first year of typical use, According to research of the reproductive health policy organization Guttmacher Institute. Birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings have a 7% failure rate in the first year of typical use.


UNINTENDED PREGNANCY RATES IN THE UNITED STATES

Just under half of the 6.1 million total pregnancies in the United States were considered unintended in 2011, according to a New England Journal of Medicine studywhich is the most recent data quoted by the CDC. The highest rates of unwanted pregnancies were observed among women aged 20 to 24. There were also higher rates among certain demographic groups, including low-income, black and Hispanic women. The CDC estimates approximately 18% of pregnancies end in abortion.


ABORTIONS REPORTED TO CDC IN 2019

The CDC received reports of 629,898 abortions in 2019, the last full year of data available. The agency began tracking the number of legal abortions in the United States in 1969. Providers voluntarily submit data to states, which means the dataset is incomplete (and excludes California, Maryland and New Hampshire), so the actual number is likely much higher. A model-based approach developed by researchers from the Guttmacher Institute, the World Health Organization and the United Nations puts the average annual number of abortions in the United States at around 886,000.


MEDICATED ABORTIONS REPRESENT MORE THAN HALF OF THE TOTAL

There are two ways to end a pregnancy: medication or surgery. What is often called the abortion ‘pill’ actually requires two different medications – a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol – which can be taken up to 70 days or 10 weeks gestation. The Guttmacher Institute has published preliminary data according to its census of abortion providers in the United States, which suggests that medical abortions accounted for the majority of the total for the very first time in 2020, compared to 39% in 2017. In December 2021, the FDA waived the requirement that mifepristone should be prescribed in person.


MEDIAN COST OF MEDICAL ABORTION

The cost of medical abortions has increased in recent years. The median out-of-pocket cost increased from $495 in 2017 to $560 in 2020, according to a study in Health Affairs. This is a 13% increase, which the researchers say is “higher than you would expect” due to healthcare inflation alone, which was around 8% during the same period. There was also significant geographic variation. The highest median price at $730 was in the Midwest, including Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The lowest median price of $490 was in the South Atlantic region, including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.


US HOUSEHOLDS UNABLE TO PAY $400 EMERGENCY EXPENSE

In 2020, 12% of American households questioned by the Federal Reserve said they would not be able to afford a $400 emergency expense “by any means.” Thirty-five percent of households would struggle to cover expenses, meaning they might have to borrow money, sell something, take out a loan or pay it off on a credit card over time. This can often take the form of unforeseen health expenses. Seventeen percent of adults reported large, unforeseen medical expenses in the past year, and 16% already had existing medical debt for themselves or family members.


OF ABORTIONS OCCUR IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER

The vast majority of abortions occur during the first trimester, According to the CDC. Nearly 80% of abortions occur at or before 9 weeks of gestation and 93% occur at or before 13 weeks. The average pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks and medical abortion is an option up to 10 weeks. Texas, Oklahoma and Idaho all recently banned abortion after six weeks. an april the wall street journal A poll found that 48% of American adults somewhat support restricting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while 43% oppose it. It was evenly split along party lines, with 75% of Republicans and 21% of Democrats backing 15-week bans.


MEDIAN COST OF A SECOND-TRIMETER SURGICAL ABORTION

The cost of a first-trimester surgical abortion has increased, but the cost of a second-trimester surgical abortion has decreased over the same period. The median cost of a first-trimester surgical abortion rose from $475 in 2017 to $575 in 2020, while the second-trimester procedure rose from $935 to $895, according to a study in Health Affairs. The percentage of providers accepting insurance for the procedure increased from 89% to 80% over the same period.


TRAVEL AND RELATED EXPENSES

As more states adopt restrictive policies regarding both medication and surgical abortions, people seeking care must travel longer distances to find out-of-state providers. The Brigid Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit that organizes trips for people seeking abortions, says the average cost of the trip is around $1,000. This may include transportation, hotels, child care reimbursement, meal allowances and a dedicated coordinator.

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