reasons for right to life legislation

These data on U.S. abortions are from the National Right to Life.

  • There have been over 48 million abortions since 1973.
  • The annual number of abortions went from 744,600 in the first year of legalization, to a high of over 1.6 million in 1990. In 2003, there were 1,287,000.
  • There were over 3,500 abortions per day in 2003, 146 per hour, about one every 25 seconds.
  • For every 1,000 live births, there were 312 abortions in 2003.
  • There were more that 148,000 second and third trimester abortions in 2003.
  • In 2003, more children died from abortion than Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars combined.
  • A 2004 survey of women seeking abortions indicated that only about 7% of women cited typical “hard cases” (rape, incest, or some health concern with either the baby or the mother) as the primary reason they were seeking abortion.
  • An April 2004 Zogby Poll found that 56% of respondents support legal abortion in only three or fewer circumstances: when the pregnancy results from rape or incest, or when it threatens the life of the mother.
  • At an average cost of $372, the abortion business is a $400 million a year industry.
  • Nearly half of all abortions are obtained by women who have already had at least one abortion.

Documentation and further details available on request from education@nrlc.org.

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