The State of Abortion, 40 Years After Roe v. Wade

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To mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 2013, the Guttmacher Institute — a sexual and reproductive health policy nonprofit — has created five infographics on the state of abortion in America.

Some highlights: By age 45, one in three women will have an abortion. The majority of these — about 58 percent — will happen in their twenties. About 60 percent will already have at least one child.

Unintended pregnancy rates are rising among poor people and falling among higher-income people, but abortion rates are still about five times higher among people living below the poverty line. Rates are also significantly higher among people of color than among white people.

State barriers to abortion are also increasing. In 2012 alone, 43 restrictions on abortion were put into place in 19 states. In 2011, 92 were enacted. The majority of states have some barrier to abortion access on the books.

Click on each infographic image below to see a larger version.

(Guttmacher Institute)

(Guttmacher Institute)

(Guttmacher Institute)

(Guttmacher Institute)

(Guttmacher Institute)


[Visit the Guttmacher Institute website.]

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  • Iowa Mum

    the wealthy can afford birth control which would account for the fall in numbers. And the wealthy also have access to abortion as they have the money to go to countries where abortion is a medical decision between a patient & her Doctor – not a political issue.

  • Jovina

    Taxpayers will either pay for abortion or pay for raising the children.

  • beverly from burien

    I left a message a few minutes ago . There was nothing offensive about it. I see now you didn’t include it. I will now say something that may be offensive. The opinions here are straight lined and predictable. There’s nothing to provoke thought and I’m not inclined to return to this website. I’m an excellent writer.

  • moderator

    Hello Beverly,

    I cannot find any message from you that was either deleted or caught by any filter. Please feel free to try again.

    Moderator @ Moyers

  • Liz Homer

    Thank you so much for caring about this issue and giving it the kind of
    coverage it needs, not just the politics of it, but about women’s lives.

  • jcspeaks

    Mr. Moyers, Please be aware that on the Dish Network information blurb for your Sunday afternoon show, I read the following:
    “What’s Fueling the Modern Abortion Debate?” Host Bill Moyers marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a Supreme Court decision that overturned numerous state restriction (sic) on a woman’s right to abortion, but now polls have change (sic) and Americans believe abortion should be illegal.
    Aside from the grammatical errors, I thought you should be aware that someone at Dish apparently chose to completely revise the overall thrust of your show.