Since 1973, there have been 54,559,615 abortions performed in the United States according to the Guttmacher Institute (GI).
As a result of Roe v. Wade, the numbers began to surge in the U.S. around 1973 and continued to climb reaching approximately 1.55 million in 1980 and stayed at this level for about ten years. After a peak of 1.6 million in 1990, abortions fell by about 25% reaching an annual level that resulted in about 1.2 million in 2005 and, using GI figures through 2008, estimating 1,212,400 abortions for 2009 through 2011.
The GI also reports an increase in early medication abortion with use of the so-called abortion pill. The number of these procedures performed in clinics -- which provide 94 percent of all abortions -- rose from 161,000 to 199,000 between 2005 and 2008, accounting for about 17 percent of abortions. The pill was initially called RU-486, and it was approved for use in the U.S. in September 2000. The abortion pill now accounts for about 25% of U.S. abortions performed in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.
The National Pro-Life Alliance has started an online petition backed by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Life at Conception petition states that “Science is clear that human life begins at conception when a new human being is formed; and by declaring that unborn children are persons legally entitled to constitutional protection, will prevent millions of unborn children from dying from abortion-on demand.”
According to a Healthwise report, there are many reasons women chose to have abortions. The most common reasons women consider abortion are birth control (contraceptive) failure, inability to support or care for a child, to end an unwanted pregnancy, to prevent the birth of a child with birth defects or severe medical problems, pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, and physical or mental conditions that endanger the woman's health if the pregnancy is continued.