Characteristics of Induced Abortions Reported in Michigan

Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

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A total of 26,594 induced abortions were reported in Michigan in 2017, which was a 0.8 percent increase from the total of 26,395 reported in 2016 and a 45.8 percent decrease since 1987 (the year with the largest number of induced abortions).   (See Number, Ratio and Rate of Reported Induced Abortions Occurring in Michigan, 1982 - 2017.)

Figure 1
Figure 1: Rates of Abortions for Michigan Occurrences, Per 1,000 Women

Michigan residents received 97 percent of the induced abortions that occurred in Michigan in 2017. This proportion is similar to that which was observed in previous years.

In 2017, about half of the resident women receiving abortions had no previous induced abortions. In general, from 1985 through 2017, a gradual increase has been observed with the proportion of women reporting two or more induced abortions, going from 14.6 percent in 1985 to 23.1 percent in 2017. The proportion of women who had no previous induced abortion has generally declined, falling from 59.5 percent in 1985 to 51.4 percent in 2017.  

In 2017, 89.2 percent of the Michigan women who obtained an induced abortion were not married, a 6.8 percent increase from the 82.4 percent reported in 1985. (See Characteristics of Reported Induced Abortions in Michigan, 1980 - 2017.)

About 65 percent of the resident women obtaining induced abortions in 2017 had a previous term pregnancy. Of the women who had a previous term pregnancy, over 38 percent in 2017 had at least two or more term pregnancies.  (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by the Number of Previous Pregnancies Carried to Term and Marital Status, Michigan Residents, 2017.)

The majority of Michigan residents receiving induced abortions (39.5 percent) were under 25 years of age, while 9 percent were less than 20 years old. These are much smaller proportions than the 64.6 and 30.6 percent observed, respectively, in 1985. (See Characteristics of Reported Induced Abortions, 1985 - 2017.)

Figure 2
Figure 2: Age-specific Abortion Rates, Per 1,000 Women

Other than self-referral, which was reported for 87.8 percent of all induced abortions in 2017, the most frequent source of referral for induced abortion services was a family member or a friend (6.4 percent) and a physician (2 percent). (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by Source of Referral and Age of Woman, 2017.)

Among all induced abortions reported in 2017 in Michigan (including both residents and non‑residents), most involved pregnancies of 12 weeks or less (86.9 percent) and suction was the most frequent procedure at 57.6 percent.  (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by Weeks of Gestation and Principal Procedure, Michigan Occurrences, 2017.)

In 2013, 6,569 abortions were performed in freestanding clinics and 19,386 were perform in a physician's private office. By 2017, the number of abortions performed in freestanding clinics had risen by 282%; to 25,102 abortions. During the same time period, the number of abortions performed in physician's offices declined by 97% or to 619 abortions. In 2017, 94.4 percent of all abortions were performed in freestanding outpatient surgical facilities. The change in location of abortions is almost certainly a result of Act 499 of 2012. The act placed new requirements of abortion providers. The number of abortions performed in 2013 and in 2017 are about the same. (See Characteristics of Reported Induced Abortions, 1985-2017.)

Most abortion reports indicate no immediate complications. In 2017 immediate complications were reported in 14 cases and in 52 cases between 2014-2016. The average three-year rate of 2014-2016 was 6.4 complications per 10,000 induced abortions performed. (See Number and Percent of Reported Induced Abortions with Any Mention of Immediate Complication by Type of Immediate Complication, Michigan Occurrences, 2017.)

In 2017, self-pay was indicated as the source of payment for most induced abortions (92.9 percent). (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by the Source of Payment and Age of Woman, Michigan Residents, 2017.)

In 2017, ultrasound was the most common method reported for confirming the pregnancy (92.5 percent). (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by Weeks of Gestation and Method to Confirm Pregnancy, Michigan Occurrences, 2017.)

Information on complications subsequent to an abortion was collected for the first time in 2001. This information is required to be reported on a separate reporting form by any physician who provided care to a woman suffering from a physical complication that was the result of an abortion occurring within seven days of the abortion. 15 reports of subsequent complications were submitted in 2017. (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions with Any Mention of Subsequent Complication by Selected Characteristics, Michigan Occurrences, 2017.)

Information on the race of the woman obtaining an induced abortion was collected for the first time in 2003. In 2011, Hispanic ancestry was first collected. Of the Michigan residents receiving abortions in 2017, 42.9 percent were white, 49.7 percent were black, 2.6 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander and about 3.1 percent were American Indian, multracial or of some other race. In 2017, 2.7 percent of the women obtaining an abortion were of Hispanic ancestry. (See Number of Reported Induced Abortions by Race of Woman, Michigan Residents, 2017.)

Figure 3
Figure 3: Number of Abortions by Race or Hispanic Ancestry of Women



Technical Notes

The state of Michigan has established a mandatory reporting system for induced abortions (MCL 333.2835). According to this law, abortion reports are not allowed to contain any common identifiers that would make it possible to identify, in any manner or under any circumstances, an individual who obtained or seeks to obtain an abortion.  Abortion reports are prepared and submitted to the Department of Health & Human Services by the physician who performs the abortion. The reports are not legal records; they are used only to produce statistical data for health and medical purposes. The department is specifically mandated to prepare aggregated statistics of individual abortion reports on an annual basis.

The tables in this report are based on induced abortion reports for 2017 that were received by the Department of Health & Human Services on or before January 31, 2018.  Definitions of the terms used are given in the footnotes of the individual tables, where necessary.

Important Note: Beginning in 2016, the Michigan Division for Vital Records & Health Statistics changed the standard for gestational age from a calculation based on the last menstrual period, to the obstetric/clinical estimate of gestational age.  Abortion statistics based on the obstetric estimate are more comparable to abortion statistics provided by the NCHS and are consistent with the CDC's Induced Termination of Pregnancy guidelines..