Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Abortion

Abortions per 1,000 Live Births

Abortions per 1,000 Live Births

Abortion has been the center of political conflict for much of the last one hundred years, but especially so since the United State Supreme Court ruled in 1973, in the case of Roe v. Wade, that prohibition of abortion is an unconstitutional invasion of a woman’s right to privacy. However, the Court did allow for the possibility of “important state interests in regulation.” What these regulations may be has been the focus of many legal and political disputes.

Abortions per 1,000 Women Age 15 - 44 Years

Abortions per 1,000 Women Age 15 – 44 Years

Both the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published statistics tracking abortions. While in basic agreement, modest differences are reported and data is missing at times from both sources.

Reported legal abortions in Maine average 3,571 per year from 1978 until 1994. During that period the reports fluctuated widely from 4,500 to 2,500, the back to 4,000. Thereafter, the number has declined to average 2,600 per year and has remained relatively stable.  Assuming the 1978-1994 period averaged 4,000 abortions, the 2008 figure of 2,623 is 34% below that earlier average.

Abortions Performed on Women from Out-of-State

Abortions Performed on Women from Out-of-State

One common measure of abortions is the number performed in relation to the number of live births each year. In Maine, before 1994, virtually every year the number was over 200; since then it has decline to an average of about 185.

Maine abortion rates per 1,000 births and per 1,000 women aged 15-44 have been consistently below the national averages. An average of 3.4% of abortions in Maine since 1996 are for out-of-state residents, again below the national average of about 8.5%.

10

State of Maine United States
Year Annual
Total
/1000
Births
/1000 15-44* Out
of State
Annual
Total
/1000
Births
/1000
15-44*
Out
of State
1978 4,011 252



1,362,264 347

28


1979 3,963 241



1,251,921

25


1980 3,594 218



1,297,606 359

25


1981 2,881 174



1,300,760 358

24


1982 2,419 145







1983 3,279 198



1,403,706



1984 3,767 227



1,333,521 364

24


1985 3,784 224



1,328,570 354

24


1986 3,521 211



1,328,112 354

23


1987 3,698 221 1,353,671 356

24


1988 3,818 222



1,371,285 352

24

8.0

1989 3,921 225



1,396,658 346

24

9.0

1990 4,607 266

16

12.5

1,429,577 345

24

8.2

1991 3,827 228

13

7.5

1,388,937 339

24

8.4

1992 3,226 201

11

7.1

1,359,145 335

23

8.0

1993 3,301 219

12

5.3

1,330,414 334

22

8.6

1994 3,089 215

11

5.0

1,267,415 321

21

8.5

1995
1996 2,615 190

9

2.9

1,221,585 314

20

8.1

1997 2,545 186

9

3.2

1,186,039 306

20

8.1

1998 2,408 175

9

2.7

884,273 264

17

8.6

1999 2,427 178

9

3.0

861,789 256

17

8.8

2000 2,536 186

9

3.3

857,475 245

16

8.7

2001 2,515 183

9

2.9

853,485 246

16

8.7

2002 2,315 171

9

3.6

854,122 246

16

8.8

2003 2,550 184

10

3.0

848,163 241

16

8.5

2004 2,593 186

10

4.2

839,226 238

16

8.2

2005 2,535 180

10

5.2

820,151 236

16

8.3

2006 2,611 185

10

4.2

846,181 236

16


2007 2,634 187

10

2.9

827,609 231

16

8.5

2008 2,623 193   10

3.1

808,528 234   16 8.3

 

Green data from Maine Department of Human Services; all other data from U.S. CDC
* abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44; blanks indicate data not available

Additional resources

Maine Department of Human Services. Office of Data, Research, and Vital Statistics. Induced abortions: Abortions Occurring in Maine: 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995. Augusta, Me. Office of Data, Research, and Vital Statistics, Bureau of Health. 1998.

CDC. Abortion Surveillance — United States, (various years). 2007 – 1978 links from http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/index.htm#Abortion (accessed October 3, 2013))

U.S. Supreme Court. ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). FindLaw for Legal Professionals at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=410&invol=113. (accessed 1/20/2006)

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