Arizona’s 2022 abortion report was published online by the Arizona Department of Health Services in December 2023.
Statistics and Changes in Arizona Abortions, 2021-2022
In 2022, there were 11,530 abortions reported in Arizona, a decrease of 18% from 2021. Abortions performed on Arizona residents also decreased by 18%, while chemical abortions on state residents decreased by 14% (Fig. 1). The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Arizona’s state abortion rate was 8.1 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 (Fig. 2).1 As of February 2024, 33 states have released 2022 abortion data with 13 states showing decreases in abortions in 2022.
State Report Summary
Resident Demographic Data
Of the abortions performed in Arizona in 2022, 11,407 (99%) were performed on Arizona residents. Most of the demographic information in the report is for resident abortions only.
Just under 10% of Arizona resident abortions were performed on girls under the age of 20, with 2% on girls ages 17 or younger and a little over 7% on girls ages 18 and 19. Thirty-one percent of the abortions were obtained by women ages 20 to 24, and 28% by women ages 25 to 29. Twenty-eight percent were performed on women in their thirties, and 4% on women ages 40 and older. In Arizona, parental consent is required before an abortion may be performed on a minor under the age of 18. In 2022, 39 minors filed petitions asking judges to waive the parental consent requirement, of which 37 were granted. The numbers of petitions denied or withdrawn were suppressed.
Arizona reports race and ethnicity together, and in 2022, 45% of Arizona resident abortions were obtained by Hispanic women. Thirty-three percent of the abortions were on non-Hispanic white women, and 12% were on African American women. Four percent of Arizona resident abortions were obtained by Asian or Pacific Islander women. Two percent of the abortions were on American Indian women, while another 2% were on women of multiple races. Race was not reported for 3% of the resident women who obtained abortions in Arizona.
A majority of the abortions for which education was reported were on women with at least 12 years of education: a little under one quarter of the abortions (23%) were obtained by women with 12 years of education and 21% were performed on women with 13 to 16 years of education, while 4% of the abortions were on women with 17 years of education or more. In contrast, 8% of the abortions were performed on women with fewer than 12 years of education. However, education was not reported for 43% of the abortions.
Eighty-five percent of Arizona abortions were performed on unmarried women, while 15% were on married women. Sixty-four percent of the abortions were on women with at least one prior pregnancy. Twenty-one percent of the abortions were on women with one previous live birth, 31% on women with two or more prior births, and 47% on women with no previous live births. Sixty-five percent of Arizona resident abortions were performed on women with no previous abortions, compared to 23% on women with one prior abortion and 10% on women with two or more abortions. Eighteen percent of Arizona abortions were performed on women who had previously had a miscarriage. The number of previous live births and abortions were not reported for not quite 2% of Arizona resident abortions, while the number of miscarriages was not reported for 3%.
Just over half the abortions, 51%, were performed chemically, of which the vast majority (99.5%) were induced using mifepristone. Just under half, 49%, were surgical abortions, of which the vast majority (84.2%) were performed using suction curettage.
Thirty percent of Arizona resident abortions occurred at six weeks of gestation or earlier. Thirty-six percent were performed between seven and eight weeks, and 18% were performed between nine and 10 weeks of gestation. Seven percent occurred between 11 and 12 weeks of gestation and 4% at 13 to 14 weeks. Two percent were performed between 15 and 16 weeks of gestation, and another 2% were performed from 17 to 19 weeks. There were 70 abortions (0.6%) performed at 20 weeks of gestation or later, with 45 abortions at 20 weeks and 25 abortions at or after 21 weeks. This was down from 311 abortions after 20 weeks in 2021. Arizona’s law limiting abortion at 15 weeks was signed into law in March of 2022 and upheld in court, after the Dobbs decision, in December of that year
The vast majority of Arizona resident abortions (99.7%) were performed in abortion centers. There were 29 abortions performed in hospitals. Sixty percent of the abortions were performed by doctors specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and 40% were performed by doctors who specialized in general family practice.
Planned Parenthood accounted for 26% of the abortions, with 2% of Planned Parenthood abortions occurring at their Flagstaff location, 33% at the Glendale location, 23% at their Southern Arizona Regional Health Center (formerly the Margaret Sanger Center) in Tucson, and 11% at the Tempe location. Twenty-seven percent of the total Arizona resident abortions occurred at Camelback Family Planning, and 18% were performed at Family Planning Associates Medical Group. Sixteen percent were performed by Acacia Women’s Center, and 9% and 4% were performed by Desert Star Family Planning and Choices Women’s Center, respectively. An additional six hospitals and doctor’s offices also reported abortions.
One quarter of the women undergoing abortions received anesthesia, while 75% did not receive anesthesia. Eight percent of the unborn babies killed by abortion were anesthetized, compared to the 92% who were not given anesthesia. In Arizona, abortion facilities must report what was done with the unborn babies’ bodies. In almost every case, facilities reported that “tissue was not donated in part or whole.” The remains were delivered to a mortuary in 79 cases. No babies’ bodies were donated for research.
In 2022, there were eight reports of complications occurring during the abortion that were recorded on the abortion procedure report form. There were nine complications reported subsequent to the abortion procedure using the abortion complication report form.2 Arizona’s state Medicaid Agency, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), pays for abortions in limited circumstances, and in 2022, there was one abortion paid for using Arizona state monies.
Arizona requires that women be given necessary information and allowed the opportunity to give their informed consent before an abortion is performed. Arizona collects information on informed consent separately from the abortion reporting form, and the reporting requirement applies to both doctors who perform abortions and doctors who provide abortion referrals. In 2022, 15,625 women were provided with both the information about their abortion procedure and about their rights and alternatives available to them. Additionally, those 15,625 women were given the opportunity to listen to their baby’s heartbeat or view their ultrasound. There were no reported medical emergencies creating exceptions to the informed consent requirement.
In 2022, seven babies were reported to survive abortions; the report does not say what happened to these babies or how or if they were cared for.
Reasons for Abortion
Arizona collects the reasons for which abortions are performed, and women can give more than one reason. In 2022, 79% of the women undergoing abortions indicated that the abortion was elective. Three percent of the abortions were performed due to maternal health considerations, and less than 1% were performed because of the health of the unborn baby. Approximately 0.4% each of the abortions were performed due to domestic violence and sexual assault. Twenty-one percent of women provided a different reason, while 23% declined to give a reason. Of the women who shared another reason for getting an abortion, 65% reported that they chose abortion because they wished not to have children.
Separately, the report includes a table with the number of abortions performed for maternal or fetal health conditions, although it is not clear if these completely overlapped with the abortions for the health of the mother or baby. Approximately 70 abortions were performed because the baby had a health condition, including 58 unknown fetal medical conditions and a variety of fetal medical conditions of suppressed numbers. Approximately 340 abortions were performed because of maternal conditions. Included in the list of maternal medical conditions that caused women to seek an abortion were 17 cases of an unspecified pre-pregnancy medical condition, 21 cases of a previous pregnancy complication, 15 cases of a mental health diagnosis or concern, and 11 cases of maternal age. Abortions were also performed for premature rupture of membranes, anatomical abnormalities, preeclampsia, medication/drug/alcohol intake, nausea/vomiting/sickness, recent pregnancies, pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, and concern about family’s genetic risk.
Arizona is one of the best states for abortion reporting, tying for third place in CLI’s 2016 review of abortion reporting across the country. As CLI has previously suggested, Arizona could continue to improve its reporting by ensuring that all health care providers are aware of the state requirement to report abortion complications they treat, particularly emergency rooms and other urgent care facilities. Additionally, the state could provide more details on babies who survive abortions as well as list the fetal medical conditions that were listed as a reason why a woman had an abortion.
- National rates were calculated by the Guttmacher Institute. Arizona rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (number of abortions performed on Arizona residents ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44 [based on most recent population estimates]) x 1,000. Rates may differ slightly from previous CLI articles due to revised population estimates. Estimates for 2005-2009 are intercensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2010-2019 are Vintage 2020 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2020-2022 are Vintage 2022 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates were produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.
- Statistics on abortion complications reported here represent a minimal number of deaths and complications, as this data is collected in a non-systematic and non-verifiable way. As such, this data cannot be used to calculate either an accurate abortion mortality rate or an accurate abortion complication rate for the state.
- 2011 was the first full year of reporting after Arizona’s law requiring abortions to be reported went into effect. In 2011, Arizona included abortions induced with digoxin in the nonsurgical abortion category; digoxin abortions were not included in this category in later reports and have been excluded from the 2011 chemical abortion total.