Are later abortions as ‘rare’ as they’re portrayed to be? Get the facts.

By: Carole Novielli, Live Action News, originally published on February 21, 2024

Later abortions committed in 2023 are estimated to reach over 123,000 — which is more than the individual populations of many U.S. cities like Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Green Bay, Wisconsin; or Wilmington, Delaware.

The 123,318 figure is extrapolated from estimated monthly numbers published by the Guttmacher Institute (a former Planned Parenthood “special affiliate”), multiplied by previously reported gestational percentages.

Traditionally, abortion data has been compiled by both the Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This data is reviewed below. Live Action News has previously explained some of the reasons for the variation in data from both reporting agencies:

  • The CDC’s overall abortion numbers are generally much lower than numbers released by the Guttmacher Institute. The CDC uses data from states, and since not every state requires abortion reporting — and those that do differ in what information is collected — abortions by trimester (gestational age) will vary.
  • Guttmacher gathers its figures from surveys, which it claims it sends directly to all known abortion facilities, categorized by type. Despite more comprehensive figures, Guttmacher generally neglects to break down reported abortion data beyond 21 weeks of pregnancy.


  • Abortions committed at 13 weeks and up estimated to be 108,000 (2020).
  • Abortions committed at or after 15 weeks: 6.3%-7.4% or between 58,600-68,800 (2020).
  • Abortions committed at or after 16 weeks: estimated 5.4% or 50,000 (2020).
  • Abortions committed at or after 21 weeks over are an estimated 12,000 (2020).

However, estimated abortion totals for 2023 may be much higher, with 123,318 later abortions estimated to be committed into the second and third trimesters.


In 2021, the CDC recorded 625,978 total abortions reported nationally from 48 reporting areas. Currently, not all states report abortion statistics to the CDC, and therefore, there are large disparities in abortion data state by state. Some require no reporting whatsoever, and others collect a variety of data on age, race, gender, gestation, complications, and other categories. Therefore, Guttmacher’s overall numbers tend to be more comprehensive.

In 2020, before Roe was overturned, the Guttmacher Institute recorded 930,160 abortions committed nationally — approximately 2,548 babies killed daily in the U.S. by abortion — 106 per hour, 1.8 per minute, and one every 35 seconds. However, while published totals are not yet available for 2021-2022, Live Action News has estimated those years at 900,000 each.

In addition, monthly abortion estimates published by Guttmacher indicate that over one million abortions may have been committed in 2023. If that one million figure holds true when actual abortion numbers are published, that would mean that nearly 2,900 preborn babies are potentially slaughtered by abortion every day — nearly 121 every hour, and one every 30 seconds.


“For 2021, among the 41 areas that reported gestational age at the time of abortion, 80.8% of abortions were performed at ≤9 weeks’ gestation, and 93.5% were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation,” the CDC wrote.

Likewise, Guttmacher data indicates that approximately 90% of abortions are committed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.


CDC: In 2021, CDC data showed that fewer abortions were committed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation. In the table below, which consists of reported abortions by gestation, the government agency recorded a total of 476,937 abortions reported by gestation in 2021. The CDC also recorded 31,106 later abortions at 14 weeks or greater, indicating that approximately 6.5% of reported abortions by gestation were committed at 14 weeks or later.

Guttmacher Institute: In June of 2022, Guttmacher reported a total of 930,160 abortions in the U.S. for 2020. However, they did not update the percentages of abortion by gestation in that report; therefore, Live Action News is using percentages from Guttmacher’s graph below, from 2016, to estimate later abortions.

In 2020, Live Action News estimates that the number of later abortions (13 weeks and up) has likely reached over 108,000 (108,828) annually, with nearly 12,100 committed at or past 21 weeks. A breakdown by gestation is below.

  • 8 weeks or fewer (65.4%) – 608,324 abortions
  • 9-10 weeks (14.7%) – 136,733 abortions
  • 11-12 weeks (8.2%) – 76,273 abortions
  • 13-15 weeks (6.3%) – 58,600 abortions
  • 16-20 weeks (4.1%) – 38,136 abortions
  • At or greater than 21 weeks (1.3%) – 12,092 abortions


In 2021, CDC data did not specifically break down later abortions at 15 weeks. However, Live Action News previously documented that in August of 2021, a review of CDC data by Guttmacher had estimated “that between 6.3% and 7.4% of all U.S. abortions are obtained at or after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”

Based on Guttmacher’s 2020 published abortion totals of 930,160 abortions, that would mean that approximately 58.6K to 68.8K abortions are committed every year at or after 15 weeks, in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This brings the daily national death toll for babies killed at or after 15 weeks to between 160 and 189.


  • CDC: In 2021, CDC data showed 18,362 later abortions out of 476,937 abortions reported by gestation in 2021 were committed at 16 weeks gestation or greater. This would indicate that approximately 4% (3.8%) of abortions reported by gestation were done at 16 weeks or more.
  • Guttmacher Institute: Utilizing percentages by gestation published by Guttmacher in the 2016 graph above, Live Action News estimates that approximatly 5.4% of abortions are committed at or after 16 weeks. Using the total number of abortions reported in 2020 (930,160) this would translate to approximately 50,228 babies killed by abortion in that gestational range. This brings the daily national death toll for babies killed at or after 16 weeks to approximately 138 per day.


Both the CDC and Guttmacher have acknowledged that abortions committed at 21 weeks or later represent 1% to 1.3% of all reported abortions — and this is no small number.

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC): CDC’s abortion data indicates that 4,070 preborn babies were recorded as being aborted at or past 21 weeks of pregnancy in 2021. However, if we apply the 1% stat to the total number of abortions reported by CDC in 2021 (625,978), we can estimate that approximately 6,260 (estimated) abortions may have been committed at 21 weeks or greater in 2021 (CDC).
  • Guttmacher Institute: Using Guttmacher’s 1.3% figure from 2016, we estimate that nearly 12,100 babies were aborted at 21 weeks gestation or later in 2020. This brings the daily national death toll for babies killed at or after 21 weeks or greater to nearly 33 babies every single day — more than the average Kindergarten classroom.

Children born prematurely at 21 weeks are reported to have survived with medical assistance.


No national reporting breaks down how many later abortions are committed at or after 24 weeks — because the abortion industry fights against any sort of required abortion reporting. In addition, some states which allow abortions into the later weeks of pregnancy and are home to the most notorious late-term abortion facilities in the nation are not reporting data to CDC (since this reporting is voluntary). Therefore, it is doubtful that we will ever know just how many preborn babies are violently killed into the last months or weeks of pregnancy when they are much more likely to survive outside the womb.

Read more about this at Live Action News here.


review of Guttmacher’s estimated data published at its Monthly Abortion Provision Study website revealed that between January 2023 and October 2023, nearly 900,000 (878,000) abortions were estimated to have been committed.

In addition, an average of 88,000 abortions were estimated to have been committed each month. Extrapolating this data for the remaining portion of the year reveals that 2023 abortions are likely to reach over one million (1,054,000) — the highest recorded since 2011.

If the one million figure holds true when actual abortion numbers are published, nearly 2,900 preborn babies are potentially slaughtered by abortion every day — nearly 121 every hour, and one every 30 seconds.

Out of that estimated total, it is likely that in 2023, nearly 14,000 abortions were committed on babies at 21 weeks or later:

  • 8 weeks or fewer (65.4%) – 689,316 abortions
  • 9-10 weeks (14.7%) – 154,938 abortions
  • 11-12 weeks (8.2%) – 86,428 abortions
  • 13-15 weeks (6.3%) – 66,402 abortions
  • 16-20 weeks (4.1%) – 43,214 abortions
  • At or greater than 21 weeks (1.3%) – 13, 702 later abortions


Laws that would restrict abortions at 15 or 16 weeks gestation would only prohibit a small percentage of the total abortions committed within the United States. The data indicates that approximately 6-7% or abortions are committed at 15 weeks or more, 4-5% at 16 weeks or greater, and roughly 1%-1.3% at 21 weeks or higher.

Carole Novielli has over thirty years of research experience on abortion, Planned Parenthood and eugenics. Her work has been published by many reputable media outlets. As a woman opposed to abortion, Carole is a committed Christian who refuses to be silenced by the main stream media and the nation’s pro-abortion feminist minority.