Abortion Reporting: Mississippi (2019)
The Mississippi State Department of Health provided 2019 abortion statistics to the Charlotte Lozier Institute in May 2021, showing that abortions increased from 2018.
Changes in Mississippi Abortions, 2018-2019
The report does not include information on Planned Parenthood’s Mississippi abortion market share. However, Planned Parenthood operates no abortion centers in Mississippi.
Abortion Totals and Trends
There were 3,194 abortions reported in Mississippi in 2019, up six percent from the previous year (Fig. 1). Chemical abortions increased by 11 percent to compose 71 percent of the total in 2019, one of the highest percentages in the country. The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Mississippi’s abortion rate increased by seven percent in 2019, although it remained far below the national rate (Fig. 2). As of August 2021, 39 states had released 2019 abortion statistics, of which 21 reported that abortions had increased from the previous year.
State Report Summary
Ninety percent of the abortions reported in Mississippi in 2019 were performed on state residents. Nine percent were performed on women from states bordering Mississippi, and one percent were performed on women from other states.
Mississippi also reports abortions performed on state residents (both in Mississippi and in other states) in the Mississippi Statistically Automated Health Resource System (MSTAHRS). In 2019, 4,838 abortions were reported to have been performed on Mississippi residents. However, not all abortions performed on Mississippi residents in other states are reported back to Mississippi, and the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there were 4,945 abortions performed on Mississippi residents in 2018, compared to the 4,693 reported by MSTAHRS that year.
Nine percent of the abortions reported in Mississippi were performed on girls aged 19 or younger. Sixty-two percent of the abortions were performed on women in their twenties, including just over 30 percent on women ages 20 to 24 and a little more than 31 percent on women ages 25 to 29. Twenty-seven percent of the abortions were obtained by women in their thirties, and two percent were performed on women in their forties.
Similar to the previous year, a large majority of the abortions reported in Mississippi were performed on black women (74 percent). Twenty-two percent were on white women, and four percent were on women of other races. CLI estimates that the black abortion rate was 9.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44, over four times the white rate of 2.2.
Nine percent of the abortions were performed on women with less than a high school education. Twenty-four percent were performed on women who had graduated high school, and 30 percent were obtained by women who had attended some college but had no degree. Thirty-six percent of the abortions were on women with a college degree, and two percent were performed on women whose level of education was not reported.
Most abortions occurring in Mississippi (91 percent) were on unmarried women, and nine percent were performed on married women. Thirty-one percent of the abortions were performed on women with no living children, while 30 percent were on women with one child and 39 percent on women with two or more children. More than two-thirds of the abortions were obtained by women with no previous abortions. Twenty-one percent were performed on women with one prior abortion, and 11 percent were on women with more than one previous abortion.
Almost all Mississippi abortions occurred in the early second trimester or before. Over two-thirds (68 percent) were performed at eight weeks of gestation or earlier, and 17 percent were performed between nine and 10 weeks. Seven percent were reported between 11 and 12 weeks, and eight percent occurred between 13 and 16 weeks of gestation. Zero abortions were reported from 17 to 20 weeks, and just one abortion was performed at 21 weeks of gestation or later. Mississippi limits abortion after 20 weeks of gestation unless the woman’s life or a major bodily function is in danger.
Chemical abortions made up 71 percent of the total in 2019, while 29 percent of the abortions were performed via suction curettage. No other types of procedures were reported. Zero complications were reported in 2019.1
Mississippi’s 15-Week Abortion Law
In 2018, Mississippi passed a law to limit abortion at 15 weeks of gestation, posing a challenge to the Supreme Court decisions blocking limits on late abortions. The law was enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, and the injunction was upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mississippi appealed to the Supreme Court, which in May 2021 decided to take up the case. The Supreme Court will consider one central question: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” The case could have sweeping ramifications for the ability of states to regulate and limit abortion.
In CLI’s 2016 survey of abortion reporting across the country, Mississippi tied for 25th best. As CLI has previously suggested, Mississippi could provide a more detailed view of abortion trends in the region by identifying the states to which Mississippi residents travel for abortions. Additionally, Mississippi could ensure that all providers are aware of the state’s complication reporting requirement and that all complications are reported.
- 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.
- Rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Mississippi ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44) x 1,000. Rates may differ slightly from previous CLI articles due to revised population estimates. Population estimates were obtained from the CDC WONDER database.