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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: Pennsylvania (2022)

Pennsylvania’s 2022 abortion report was published online by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in December 2023. The report shows that abortions increased from the previous year.

Statistics and Changes in Pennsylvania Abortions, 2021-2022

The report does not include information on Planned Parenthood’s Pennsylvania abortion market share.

Abortion Totals and Trends

There were 34,838 abortions reported in Pennsylvania in 2022, an increase of 5% from 2021. Chemical abortions increased by 3% to make up 55% of the state total (Fig. 1). The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Pennsylvania’s abortion rate rose 5% to 14.2 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 from 13.6 in 2021 (Fig. 2).1 As of February 2024, 33 states have released 2022 abortion statistics with 20 states showing an increase from 2021.

State Report Summary

In 2022, 91% of Pennsylvania abortions were performed on resident women, while not quite 10% were performed on women from other states, including 3% on women from Delaware, 4% on women from Ohio, and 1% each on New Jersey and West Virginia residents. Another 0.8% were performed on women from other states. The number of women from Ohio who obtained abortions in Pennsylvania in 2022 (1,378) more than doubled from 2021, when 557 women from Ohio obtained abortions in Pennsylvania.

Eight percent of Pennsylvania abortions were performed on young women under the age of 20, with 2% on girls under the age of 18. Twenty-seven percent of the abortions were obtained by women ages 20 to 24, and 29% by women ages 25 to 29. Thirty-three percent of the abortions were performed on women in their thirties. Four percent of Pennsylvania abortions were obtained by women ages 40 and above.

Forty-six percent of Pennsylvania abortions were performed on white women, and 43% were on Black or African-American women. CLI estimates that Pennsylvania’s Black or African-American abortion rate, 42.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44, was five times the white abortion rate of 8.5 abortions per 1,000 women. Abortions on Asian or Pacific Islander women accounted for 4% of the total, while another 4% of the abortions were performed on women of multiple races. One percent of the abortions were performed on women of other races and 3% were on women of unknown race. Eighty-eight percent of the abortions were on non-Hispanic women and 12% were on Hispanic women.

Eighty-seven percent of Pennsylvania abortions were obtained by unmarried women, compared to 12% by married women. One percent were performed on women of unknown marital status. Thirty-eight percent of the abortions were performed on women with no previous live births, and 52% were on women with no prior abortions. Twenty-six percent of Pennsylvania abortions were obtained by women with one prior live birth, and 37% were on women with two or more live births. Twenty-four percent of the abortions were performed on women with one prior abortion, and 23% were on women with more than one prior abortion.

Over half the abortions reported in 2022 were chemical (55%). Forty percent of the abortions were performed via suction curettage, and 5% were dilation and evacuation procedures. There were six abortions performed using sharp curettage. Additionally, there were 112 abortions performed using some other means.

More than two-thirds of the abortions, 63%, occurred at eight weeks of gestation or earlier. Eighteen percent were reported between nine and 10 weeks of gestation, and 7% were performed between 11 and 12 weeks. Five percent occurred between 13 and 14 weeks, 4% were performed between 15 and 17 weeks, and 2% occurred from 18 to 20 weeks of gestation. There were 510 abortions (1.5% of the total) performed between 21 and 23 weeks of gestation; no abortions were reported at 24 weeks or later.

Abortion Complications

There were 11 abortion complications reported at the time of the procedure, up from five in 2021, and 180 pregnancies complicated by pre-existing medical conditions. The report does not indicate what these preexisting conditions were, but Pennsylvania law lists as possible examples hydatid mole, endocervical polyp, malignancies, radiation exposure, genetic indications, psychological indications, rape, incest, and rubella disease.

Separately, there were 469 abortion complications reported subsequent to the abortion procedure, an increase of 46% from 2021. Over half (58%) of these resulted from chemical abortion, while just under one quarter (24%) were caused by suction curettage procedures and 12% by dilation and evacuation abortions. This is consistent with peer-reviewed research demonstrating higher complication rates for chemical versus surgical abortion. Four percent of the complications resulted from sharp curettage procedures despite only six being performed in 2022; it is possible that some complications were caused by abortions performed the previous year or in other states. Three percent of the complications were caused by other or unknown abortion methods. Three-quarters of the complications were retained products of conception, 15% were bleeding, and 4% were infections. Six percent were some other type of complication.2

State Ranking

In CLI’s 2016 analysis of abortion reporting across the 50 states, New York City, and the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania’s reporting tied for 23rd best. To improve, Pennsylvania could report data from the quarterly abortion reports filed by facilities that received public funding per Pennsylvania law.

  1. National rates were calculated by the Guttmacher Institute. Pennsylvania rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Pennsylvania ÷ 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. Estimates were produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics
  2. 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.
  3. The annual totals of chemical abortions performed in Pennsylvania in 2005, 2006, and 2007 were taken from abortion surveillance reports published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because they were not reported by the state for these years.

Click here to view reporting from:202120202019201820172016

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