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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Maternal & Public HealthAbortion

Abortion Reporting: Massachusetts (2022)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provided Massachusetts’ 2021 and 2022 abortion statistics to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) upon request. This article will mainly cover 2022 statistics. Abortions in the Bay State increased from 2021 to 2022.

Statistics and Changes in Massachusetts Abortions, 2021-2022

Abortion Totals and Trends

In 2022, there were 17,757 abortions reported in Massachusetts, an increase of 6% from 2021 when there were 16,795 abortions (Fig. 1). Chemical abortions composed 52% of the total, increasing from 8,311 in 2021 to 9,276 in 2022 (up 12%). CLI estimates that Massachusetts’ 2022 abortion rate was 12.6 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, 6% higher than the 2021 abortion rate of 11.9 (Fig. 2).1 As of October 2023, 23 states had released abortion statistics for 2022, with 13 reporting that abortions had increased.

State Report Summary

In 2022, the vast majority of the abortions reported in Massachusetts (93%) were performed on state residents, while 5% were performed on women from out of state and 2% were on women of unknown residency.

Eight percent of the abortions were on girls ages 19 or younger. Twenty-six percent of the abortions were performed on women ages 20 to 24 and 27% were on 25- to 29-year-olds. Thirty-five percent of the abortions performed in Massachusetts were on women in their thirties, and 5% were on women ages 40 or above.

In 2022, a majority (46%) of Massachusetts abortions were performed on white women, and 24% were on black women. Six percent of the abortions were performed on Asian women, and 14% were obtained by women of other races. Race was not specified for 11% of the abortions. CLI estimates that Massachusetts’ black abortion rate of 28.8 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 was nearly four times the white abortion rate of 7.7. Fifty-five percent of the abortions were on non-Hispanic women, 24% were on Hispanic women, and one-fifth were on women of unknown ethnicity.

Six percent of the abortions occurring in Massachusetts in 2022 were on women who had not completed high school. Twenty percent were obtained by women with a high school diploma as their highest level of education, and 17% were performed on women who had attended college but did not have a degree. Four percent of the abortions were on women with an associate degree, 12% on women with a bachelor’s degree, and 4% on women with a postgraduate degree. However, level of education was not reported for 37% of abortions.

Seventy-one percent of the abortions were on unmarried women, while 13% were performed on married women, and 16% were on women of unknown marital status. Forty-eight percent were performed on women with no previous abortions. Twenty-seven percent were performed on women with one prior abortion, and 21% were on women with two or more previous abortions. Forty-three percent of the abortions were on women with no previous live births, compared to 21% with one live birth and 25% with more than one. The number of prior abortions was not reported for 4%, and the number of previous live births was not reported for 11%.

Chemical abortions made up 52% of the total in 2022. Thirty-one percent of the abortions were via suction curettage, and 15% were dilation and evacuation procedures. One percent of abortions were performed using sharp curettage procedures. One intrauterine prostaglandin abortion and three intrauterine prostasaline abortions were performed. Fifteen abortions were performed via some other means.

Seventy-two percent of Massachusetts’ abortions were performed at eight weeks of gestation or earlier, and 19% occurred between nine and 12 weeks. Six percent of the abortions were reported between 13 and 18 weeks of gestation, and 2% were performed between 19 and 23 weeks. Forty-one abortions were performed at 24 weeks of gestation or later, compared to 37 in 2021 and just three in 2020. All but one of the 41 abortions performed at 24 weeks of gestation or later were performed in Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Region 6, which represents the Boston area. EOHHS Region 6 contains five hospitals that perform abortions and two abortion centers (one Planned Parenthood center and one non-Planned Parenthood clinic).

Abortions by Facility

Eighty-one percent of Massachusetts 2022 abortions were performed in abortion centers. Eighteen percent were performed in hospitals, and 1% were reported by physicians. Planned Parenthood’s three abortion centers accounted for 52% of all abortions reported in Massachusetts and 64% of the abortions performed in abortion centers. Six out of the 28 locations that performed abortions in Massachusetts in 2022 (the three Planned Parenthood centers and three independent abortion centers) accounted for 80% of the state’s total abortions, with one Planned Parenthood center (Greater Boston Health Center) accounting for 28% of the state’s total. Planned Parenthood’s Western Massachusetts center and Central Massachusetts center each performed 12% of the state’s total abortions, and Four Women Health Services and HealthQ performed 11% and 10% of the state’s total abortions, respectively. Lastly, Planned Parenthood of Marlborough performed 21 abortions in 2021 but ceased providing abortions in 2022. The website for this center notes that this location is “not able to provide abortion services at this time.”

Legislative Changes

As CLI has previously explained, Massachusetts limits abortion at 24 weeks, but the exceptions to the law are so broad that they render the limit ineffective. The state’s governor, Maura Healey, has taken steps to make abortion even more accessible and unregulated in the state. In April 2023, Healey signed an executive order that added chemical abortion providers and distributors of the dangerous chemical abortion pills, misoprostol and mifepristone, to the state’s “shield law” which protects abortionists from out-of-state prosecution. On the same day, she announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst had ordered 15,000 doses of mifepristone for stockpiling and that the Healey administration dedicated one million dollars to the Department of Public Health to help pay for the stockpile.

State Ranking

In CLI’s 2016 survey of state abortion reporting, Massachusetts was ranked near the bottom of the list. Massachusetts could improve its reporting by making reports accessible on the Department of Public Health website, as most other states do. Massachusetts could also collect and report information on complications caused by abortion and include the number of abortion pills shipped to women in other states.

1. Rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Massachusetts ÷ 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. Population estimates were obtained from CDC WONDER. 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. Population estimates were produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Click here to view reporting from:2020201920182017

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