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12 Michigan abortion quick facts


A total of 26,716 abortions were reported in Michigan in 2018, an increase of 0.5% from 2017, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Michigan residents obtained 96% of abortions performed in the state in 2018, according to the state’s annual abortion report. The 2018 report was released this month.

Below are 12 quick facts about abortions in Michigan.

Wayne County has the highest abortion rate in the state

Wayne County, which includes Detroit, has the highest abortion rate in the state – 28.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The lowest rate in Dickinson was 2.5 abortions per 1,000 women. Counties where no rate has been calculated: Algiers, Baraga, Gogebic, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Oscoda.

Statewide, the rate was 13.6 in 2018, down slightly from 13.7 in 2017.

The map below shows the abortion rate by county. This is the number of abortions in 2018 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. (There are several rural counties where rates were not available due to the small population and low number of abortions.)

Detroit residents accounted for 23% of Michigan abortions in 2018

Women who live in Detroit obtained 23% of abortions performed in Michigan in 2018.

Of Michigan women aged 15 to 44, 7% live in Detroit. The city’s abortion rate is more than three times the state average.

Women in metro Detroit – Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties – account for 60% of abortions in Michigan, although they are 39% of Michigan women aged 15 to 44.

On the other end of the spectrum, residents of the Upper Peninsula – which represent 2.6% of Michigan women of childbearing age – account for 0.9% of Michigan abortions.

The online database below allows readers to research the number of abortions from 2008 to 2018 by county. Figures are based on where patients live, not where the abortions were performed. You can click on a bar in the graph to see the number.

You can click on a bar in the graph to see the number.

Abortions Down 46% From 1987 Peak

Abortions in Michigan are down 46% from the peak in 1987 when 49,098 abortions were reported to the state.

The increase between 2012 and 2013 is largely the result of a state law that enhanced reporting requirements.

Half of all abortion patients in 2017 have had an abortion

In 2018, 51% of Michigan’s who had an abortion had never had an induced abortion, while 26% had had an abortion and 23% had had two or more abortions.

The percentage of women reporting two or more abortions rose from 15% in 1985 to 25% in 2012, and has fallen to 23% in recent years.

The proportion of women who have never had an abortion has generally declined, from 60% in 1985 to 51% in 2018, according to the report.

One in eight women who have an abortion are married

In 2018, 87% of Michigan women who got an abortion were not married. This compares to 82% in 1985 and 89% in 2017.

Two-thirds of abortion patients have at least one child

About 65% of Michigan women who had an abortion in 2018 have had a full term pregnancy, and 38% have given birth at least twice.

Among married abortion patients, 85% had already had a full term pregnancy and 62% had given birth to at least two children.

In 1985, 48% of abortions were obtained by women who had already given birth.

61% of abortion patients in 2018 were in their 20s

Women aged 25 to 29 were the group most likely to have an abortion in 2018.

About 9% of abortions in 2018 were performed on adolescent girls; 61% of women in their twenties and 30% were obtained by women aged 30 and over.

Major change in abortions by age group

In 1985, 65% of abortions were obtained by women under the age of 25. That dynamic has now been reversed: in 2018, women over 25 had 62% of abortions in Michigan.

Black women were five times more likely to have an abortion

About 50% of abortions performed on Michigan residents in 2018 were obtained by African-American women.

This translates to a rate of 39.8 abortions per 1,000 black women aged 15 to 44, compared to a rate of 7.4 for white women.

87% of abortions were performed before the 13th week of pregnancy

Two-thirds of Michigan’s 2018 abortions occurred before the ninth week of pregnancy, 87% by the 13th week, and 96% by the 17th week.

There were 358 abortions performed between the 21st and 24th week of gestation; six performed between the 25th and 28th weeks and one after the 28th week.

Majority of abortions involve D&C aspiration

The most common abortion method in 2018, around 55%, was D&C suction, in which the fetus is sucked and a tool is used to scrape the lining of the uterus.

The second most common method, around 38%, was a medical or non-surgical abortion, in which the abortion is induced by drugs.

About 7% of abortions involved dilation and evacuation, which is typically used in abortions after the 14th week of pregnancy. It is a combination of suction and manual withdrawal of the fetus.