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GOP CONVENTION '96

Abortion in America

August 12, 1996

Abortion may well be the thorniest topic in U.S. politics, evoking strong emotions and passionate arguments on both sides of the issue. Abortion also marks one of the clearest differences between the Democratic Party platform and the platform the Republicans are expected to adopt today. According to recent data, white, middle-class women are the most typical abortion patients.

U.S. Abortion Patients

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Race 1994 1987 White 61.3% 68.6% Black 31.1% 31.4*% Other 7.6% (*combined) Ethnicity Latino 20.2% 12.8% Non-Latino 79.8% 87.2% Marital Status Married 18.4% 18.5% Separated 7.2% 6.4% Divorced 9.4% 11.2% Widowed 0.5% 0.6% Never-married 64.4% 63.3% No. of live births 0 45.4% N/A 1 24.7% N/A 2 17.8% N/A 3 7.7% N/A 4 or more 4.4% N/A Religion Protestant 37.4% 41.9% Catholic 31.3% 31.5% Jewish 1.3% 1.4% Other 6.3% 2.9% None 23.7% 22.2% Born-again/evangelical Yes 18.0% 15.8% No 82.0% 84.2% Education 8th grade or less 4.2% N/A 9th to 11th grade 16.9% N/A High school graduate 30.4% N/A or GED Some college or 34.9% N/A associate degree College graduate 13.7% N/A Enrolled in school Yes 30.3% 31.1% No 69.7% 68.9% Currently employed Yes 66.2% 68.1% No 33.8% 31.9% Has Medicaid coverage Yes 26.5% 23.8% No 73.5% 76.2% Family Income less than $15,000 28.7% N/A $15,000--$29,999 19.5% N/A $30,000--$59,999 38.0% N/A more than $60,000 13.8% N/A

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Are Abortions on Decline?

Number of legal abortions performed annually in the United States (1992 is the latest year for which statistics are available):

1970: 193,491

'90: 1,429,577

'92: 1,359,145

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. Abortion Patients

% in each age group

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Age 1994 1987 Under 15 1.2% 0.9% 15-17 8.8% 10.8% 18-19 11.5% 13.8% 20-24 32.8% 33.1% 25-29 21.4% 22.3% 30-34 14.4% 11.7% 35-39 7.5% 5.7% 40 or older 2.3% 1.7%

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Nationwide Variations

17 states and the District of Colombia provide funding for abortions. The states are Alaska, California, Connecticut, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Here are the states with the highest and lowest abortion rates.

States with the highest abortion rates

California

Delaware.

Hawaii

New York

Nevada

****

States with the lowest abortion rates

Wyoming

Idaho

South Dakota

Utah

West Virginia

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Average Cost of Outpatient Abortions

First-trimester abortion: $297

Second trimester abortion $593

After 20 weeks: $1,013.

Milestones

Before 1973: States are free to regulate or outlaw abortion.

1973: In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme court guarantees women the right to abortion.

1980: With Ronald Reagan as the republican nominee, the GOP platform seeks a constitutional amendment urging a total ban on abortion. George Bush switches his pro-choice abortion position to anti-abortion when he is picked as Reagan's running mate.

June 1992: Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, a 5-4 divided court reaffirmed a women's right to abortion while allowing restrictions that do not unduly burden a women.

April 1996: Clinton vetoes legislation that would outlaw so-called partial-birth abortions.

Global Scope

About 50 million abortions are performed worldwide each year, Population Action International estimates. But no one knows the exactnumber because half may take place outside a regular health-care system.

Of nations worldwide

Percent of women affected by thedifferent laws.

Law: % of women living under law

Early abortion on request: 40%

Abortion for socioeconomic reasons: 21%

Abortion for risks to health/rape/incest: 16%

Only to save woman's life: 18%

Other: 5%

****

Abortions per 100 pregnancies

selected countries (reporting year)

Canada (1993): 21.2%

China (1989): 30.4%

Cuba (1990): 44.1%

Netherlands (1994): 9.6%

Romania (1990): 74.4%

Sweden (1994): 22.3%

Tunisia (1988): 9.8%

U.S. (1992): 25.9%

Ukraine (1994): 60.5%

Vietnam (1992): 38.4%

Researched by: D'Jamila Salem-Fitzgerald

Sources: Induced Abortion: A World Review, 1990 Supplement' and Population Action International, Alan Guttmacher Institute, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, National Abortion Federation

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