Years Available
1973 to present
Mode of Collection
Census: Most states have a legal requirement for providers to report all abortions.
Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requests aggregate data from the central health agencies of 52 reporting areas (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City) to document the number and characteristics of women obtaining legal induced abortions in the United States. In most states, collection of abortion data is facilitated by the legal requirement for hospitals, facilities, and physicians to report all abortions to a central health agency. These central health agencies then voluntarily report the abortion data they have collected through their independent surveillance systems. While reporting to CDC is voluntary, most reporting areas provide their abortion numbers. To encourage more uniform collection of these details, CDC has collaborated with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems to develop reporting standards and provide technical guidance for vital statistics personnel who collect and summarize abortion data within the United States. However, because the collection and reporting of abortion data are not federally mandated, many reporting areas have developed their own data collection forms and therefore do not collect or provide all the information in this system.
Population Covered
All women (including teens) who have obtained a legal induced abortion in the United States.