Research Confirms 95.9% of Abortions are Killing Babies as Birth Control, Just .4% for Rape

Elyse Gaitan, Mia Steupert, M.A., Tessa Cox

After the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, states across the country have enacted laws that limit abortion. Frequently, these state laws make exceptions for abortions for certain reasons, such as rape and incest, risk to the mother's life or health, or a fetal abnormality. Assessing the number of abortions performed for various reasons can be challenging due to the poor quality of U.S. abortion data resulting from inconsistent reporting requirements. Periodic surveys by pro-abortion organizations have been done of women visiting abortion centers.[1], [2] However, these surveys do not provide a detailed look at abortions specifically performed for common legal exceptions.

For this report, we compiled publicly available data from the eight states that collected and reported 2021 data on women's reasons for choosing abortion. We selected data from 2021, the year before Dobbs was decided, because many of these states limited abortion after Dobbs. These eight states accounted for approximately 123,000 abortions in 2021, which would have been around 13% of the U.S. total in 2020.[3], [4] Some of these states allow women to report multiple reasons for an abortion or to write in a particular reason, while others ask women to select the top reason or choose from a predetermined list. Additionally, some states provide more precise reasons than others. To develop an estimate of the percent of abortions performed for a given reason, data was combined from each state reporting that particular reason.

Overall, common exceptions to abortion limits are estimated to account for less than 5% of all abortions

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