Who Has Abortions?

Fact Sheet

  • At 2014 abortion rates, about one in four (24%) women will have an abortion by age 45.1
  • More than half of all U.S. abortion patients in 2014 were in their 20s: Patients aged 20–24 obtained 34% of all abortions, and patients aged 25–29 obtained 27%.2
  • Adolescents made up 12% of abortion patients in 2014: Those aged 18–19 accounted for 8% of all abortions, 15–17-year-olds for 3% and those younger than 15 for 0.2%.2
  • White patients accounted for 39% of abortion procedures in 2014, black patients for 28%, Hispanic patients for 25%, and patients of other races and ethnicities for 9%.2
  • Seventeen percent of abortion patients in 2014 identified themselves as mainline Protestant, 13% as evangelical Protestant and 24% as Catholic, while 38% reported no religious affiliation and the remaining 8% reported some other affiliation. 2
  • The vast majority (94%) of abortion patients in 2014 identified as heterosexual or straight. Four percent of patients said they were bisexual; 0.3% identified as homosexual, gay or lesbian; and 1% identified as “something else.” 2
  • Fifty-nine percent of abortions in 2014 were obtained by patients who had had at least one birth. 2
  • Some 75% of abortion patients in 2014 were poor (having an income below the federal poverty level of $15,730 for a family of two in 2014) or low-income (having an income of 100–199% of the federal poverty level). 2
  • In 2014, 16% of patients who obtained abortions in the United States were born outside the United States, a proportion comparable to their representation in the U.S. population (17% of women aged 15­–44). 2
  • In 2014, 51% of abortion patients were using a contraceptive method in the month they became pregnant, most commonly condoms (24%) or a short-acting hormonal method (13%).3



  1. Jones RK and Jerman J, Population group abortion rates and lifetime incidence of abortion: United States, 2008–2014, American Journal of Public Health, 2017, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304042.
  2. Jerman J, Jones RK and Onda T, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016, https://www.guttmacher.org/report/characteristics-us-abortion-patients-2014.
  3. Jones RK, Reported contraceptive use in the month of becoming pregnant among U.S. abortion patients in 2000 and 2014, Contraception, 2018, doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2017.12.018.
Taken from “Induced Abortions in the United States | September 2019 Fact Sheet” Guttmacher Institute, www.guttmacher.org, accessed February 10, 2022, [https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states].