Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Abortion

Abortions Maine and US 1978-2012Abortion 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 Infant and Neonatal Deaths to 2013

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. Even for the CDC, data is scattered among several sites and tables.

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 2015 figure of 2,379 is 40% below that earlier average.

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 178 in the period 1995-2014.

Maine abortion rates per 1,000 births 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%.

Abortions Maine Abortions United States
Year Annual
Total
/1000
Births
Annual
Total
/1000
Births
/1000
15-44*
1978 4,011 252 1,362,264 347

23

1979 3,963 241 1,251,921 358

24

1980 3,594 218 1,297,606 359

25

1981 2,881 174 1,300,760 358

24

1982 2,419 145 1,303,980
354

24

1983 3,279 198 1,403,706 349

23

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

1989 3,921 225 1,396,658 344

24

1990 4,028 266 1,429,577 345

24

1991 3,520 228 1,388,937 338

24

1992 2,935 201 1,359,145 334

23

1993 3,095 219 1,330,414 333

21

1994 2,916 215 1,267,415 321

21

1995 2,717 196 1,210,883 277  18
1996 2,539 190 1,221,585 285

18

1997 2,454 186 1,186,039 274

17

1998 2,335 175 884,273 264

17

1999 2,427 178 861,789 256

17

2000 2,536 186 857,475 246

16

2001 2,515 183 853,485 247

16

2002 2,315 171 854,122 248

16

2003 2,550 184 848,163 245

16

2004 2,593 186 839,226 241

16

2005 2,653 180 820,151 236

16

2006 2,672 185 846,181 237

16

2007 2,689 187 827,609 229

16

2008 2,623 193 808,528 232   16
2009 2413  179 779,278  227  15
2010 2411 178 754,780 227 15
2011 1772 140 719,530  219 14
2012 2046 161 688,149 220  13
2013 1939 153
2014 2021 163
2015 1836

 

Green data from Maine Department of Human Services; all other data from U.S. CDC
* abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44

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, 2012.”https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6410a1.htm?s_cid=ss6410a1_e (accessed January 3, 2017)

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)

CDC. “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 1992.”  This covered the period 1970-1992, detailing total number of abortions and the rate of abortions among women 15 to 44. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041486.htm#00001642.htm (accessed January 3, 2017)

CDC. “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2003.”  This covered the period 1970-2003, detailing total number of abortions and the rate of abortions among women 15 to 44. (accessed January 3, 2017)

CDC. “Table 7. Legal abortions, legal abortion rates, and legal abortion ratios: United States and 47 continuous reporting areas, 2003–2012. ” Source ofU.S.  data from 2003-2012. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2015/007.pdf  (accessed January 3, 2017)

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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