Abortion Reporting: North Dakota (2022)
North Dakota published its 2022 abortion report in August 2023. The report shows that the number of abortions in the state decreased significantly from 2021.
Statistics and Changes in North Dakota Abortions, 2021-2022
This report does not include information on Planned Parenthood’s North Dakota abortion market share, but Planned Parenthood operates no centers in North Dakota.
Abortion Totals and Trends
In 2022, there were 754 abortions reported in North Dakota, down by 35% from the previous year (Fig. 1). Chemical abortions also decreased significantly, from 677 in 2021 to 395 (down 42%). The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that North Dakota’s 2022 abortion rate was 4.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, a decrease of 35% from 2021 (Fig. 2).1 As of October 2023, 23 states have released 2022 abortion statistics with 10 reporting decreases.
State Report Summary
Seventy-one percent of the abortions that occurred in North Dakota were performed on state residents, while 29% were performed on nonresidents. Twenty-two percent of North Dakota abortions were obtained by Minnesota residents. Forty-eight South Dakota residents obtained abortions in North Dakota, and seven abortions were performed on residents of other states.
Thirteen percent of 2022 North Dakota abortions were performed on girls ages 19 or younger, 29% on women ages 20 to 24, and 25% on women ages 25 to 29. Twenty-one percent of the abortions were obtained by women in their early thirties, and 10% by women in their later thirties. Two percent of North Dakota abortions were performed on women ages 40 or older.
Sixty-one percent of the abortions were performed on white women, while 17% were on black women and 15% were on Native American women. Two percent of the abortions obtained in North Dakota were on Asian women. Five percent of abortions were on women of other or unknown races. CLI estimates that white women had the lowest abortion rate in 2022 (3.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44), while black women had an abortion rate (19.3) nearly six times that of white women.
One percent of the abortions were performed on women who had not completed high school, while 12 % were on women with a high school diploma, a dramatic decrease in both cases from 2021. Forty-five percent of the abortions were performed on women who had attended some college, a dramatic increase from 2021. Thirty-eight percent were performed on women with an associate degree or higher. Level of education was not reported for 4% of the abortions.
A majority of the abortions reported in North Dakota, 87%, were performed on unmarried women, compared to only 12% on married women and 0.4% on women of unknown marital status. Forty-one percent of the abortions were on women with no children, while 22% were on women with one child and 37%on women with two or more children. Eighty-one percent of the abortions were performed on women with no previous abortions, 15% were on women with one prior abortion, and just under five percent were on women with more than one, similar to the previous year.
In 2022, the vast majority of North Dakota abortions occurred in the first or early second trimester. Nine percent of North Dakota abortions occurred before six weeks of gestation. Twenty-seven percent of the abortions were reported at six weeks, and 32% occurred between seven and eight weeks of gestation. Sixteen percent were performed between nine and 10 weeks of gestation, and 8% occurred between 11 and 12 weeks. Eight percent of the abortions were reported between 13 and 15 weeks, and 1% were performed at 16 weeks of gestation or later.
The month of June had the most abortions (131) while zero abortions occurred in September through December. North Dakota’s report does not include the types of procedures used to perform abortions in the state, but this information was provided to CLI upon request. In 2022, 52% of the abortions were chemical in nature while 48% were suction curettage procedures.
As CLI has previously noted, North Dakota’s 2007 trigger law was supposed to go into effect on July 28, 2022, after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022. However, the law was blocked one day before it was set to go into effect and again on August 25, 2022. Although abortion remained legal up until 22 weeks of gestation under North Dakota’s existing code, the state’s sole abortion clinic moved in August of that year to neighboring Moorhead, MN and abortions stopped being performed in the state. On March 16, 2023, the state’s 2007 trigger law was blocked yet again, this time by the North Dakota Supreme Court. However, on April 24, 2023 North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed SB2150 into law which prohibits abortion in most cases at any point in a woman’s pregnancy. SB2150 contains exceptions for the life of the mother and serious health risks, as well as rape and incest exceptions up until six weeks of gestation. This law remains in effect.
In 2016, CLI published an analysis of abortion reporting across the 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia, and North Dakota’s abortion reports tied for 19th best. However, North Dakota’s 2022 report indicates that the state will no longer produce annual reports as abortions are no longer performed in North Dakota except in the cases mentioned above. North Dakota could improve its reporting of data by continuing to publish annual reports and by including the types of procedures used. North Dakota could also collect and report both data on complications, including those caused by abortions performed in other states and then treated in North Dakota, and the reasons why women obtained an abortion.
1. National rates were calculated by the Guttmacher Institute. North Dakota rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in North Dakota ÷ 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 the CDC wonder database. 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.