2019 Abortion Report

Researched & Written by Sharon Farrer

Ohio has kept statistics on abortions since 1976, several years after the landmark Supreme Court ruling allowing women legal access to abortion.  Since 2004 Ohio has published an Annual Abortion Report, which is a comprehensive and very detailed report based on confidential abortion reports given to women by the Department of Health at the time of their procedure.  It provides ample information on such details as who is having abortions, where they are occurring, which trimester the abortion is performed, what type of abortion is given, and additional data.  When we study and compare the individual reports over the last fifteen years, we can garner empirical evidence that gives insight into abortion trends occurring in the state.

(Note that last year’s statistics are taken from the Annual Induced Abortions in Ohio Reports) Induced Abortions in Ohio  , Ohio Department of Health, September 2020, file:///C:/Users/sharo/Desktop/2019%20Ohio%20Abortion%20Report.pdf

Other statistics used for comparison are taken from reports from 2004-2018: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/explore-data-and-stats/published-reports/data-and-stats-abortion-reports

United States Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Ohio: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/OH

For the purpose of this writing, I am particularly looking at data from the last fifteen Annual Abortion Reports (2004 to 2018) to determine several things:

  • Are the number of abortions in Ohio increasing or decreasing?
  • Do abortion numbers in Ohio and its largest counties correspond with state and county population changes?
  • In which counties are most abortions being performed, and are there increases or decreases in the number of abortions in these sites?
  • Are we seeing growth in chemical abortions in favor of surgical abortions?
  • Are second and third trimester abortions on the rise?
  1. When we look at the number of abortions that are being performed in Ohio, we definitely see an overall decrease over the last fifteen years.  In fact, since the Ohio Annual Abortion Report has been published in 2004, there has been a decrease each year in the number of abortions; the most abortions reported for a year was in 2004, when 32,242 abortions were performed.  Abortions declined almost every year, with last year (2019) reporting the lowest number of abortions performed:  20,102.  This represents a 30 percent decrease in the number of abortions in Ohio over the last ten years.  And this is the lowest number of abortions performed in the state since 2009.  The number of abortions in Ohio also fell over the last year, from 20,245 to 20, 102, representing a 1.58% decrease.
  1. Ohio’s population has increased, with marginal but consistent growth since 2014.  Over the last six years Ohio’s population has increased about ¾ of one percent.  The largest counties are Cuyahoga, Franklin, Montgomery, Hamilton, Summit, and Lucas, and their growth individually has fluctuated over the last six years.  Cuyahoga County’s population decreased slightly, from 1.242 million in 2018 to 1,235,072 in 2019, a .56% loss.  Abortions decreased in Cuyahoga County over the last year, from 4,518 to 4,381, representing a 3.03% decrease.  So while the population of the county is decreased only slightly, abortions have in fact decreased at a faster rate.  Another county of interest is Lucas county, where its last abortion clinic closed in 2019.  How does its population change compare with its abortion rate?  Lucas County’s population has been steadily, if slowly, decreasing since 2014, and its population decreased from 429,612 in 2018 to 428,348 in 2019, representing a .29% decrease.  The number of abortions performed definitely does not reflect this change. Abortions decreased in Lucas County from 879 in 2018 to 695 last year, a staggering 21 percent decrease, probably due to the closing of its last abortion clinic in 2019.
  1. The Abortion Reports also show us which counties account for the most abortions.  Cuyahoga County has had the greatest percentage of abortions each year since the 2004 Abortion Report was published.  In 2019, Cuyahoga County accounted for 34.9% of statewide abortions, down slightly from 37.7% in 2018.  Franklin County ranks second for the number of abortions in Ohio:  19.6% in 2019, up from 18.1% in 2018.  Hamilton, Montgomery, Summit, and Lucas make up, in order, the counties where most abortions are being performed.
  1. Another thing we can see by comparing reports is whether abortions are being completed in an abortion facility or at home by chemical means.  We can look at numbers of surgical (mostly curettage suction) and nonsurgical abortions (also called medical or chemical abortions).  During a Mifeprex RU 486 given drug induced abortion, for example, the patient visits the clinic for several tablets of the drug, and the pregnancy is passed within 2 to 24 hours of taking the medication.   Over the last six years, chemical abortions have been on the rise in Ohio.  In 2014, chemical abortions accounted for only 5% of abortions, and in 2019 the percent of chemical abortions accounted for an incredible 39% of all abortions in the state!  It will be interesting to see as these numbers rise, if more and more abortion clinics will close, by simply conducting abortions through the mail.  This will be dangerous as women will be on their own without medical aid during their abortions.
  1. With regard as to what trimester a woman seeks an abortion, there has been a trend in Ohio over the last year for more first trimester abortions.  First trimester abortions (0-12 weeks) accounted for 87.5% of abortions in 2019, up from 85.3% in 2018.  Second trimester (13-20 weeks) abortions represented 12.1% of abortions, down slightly from 14.2% in 2018.  Finally, late abortions (21 plus weeks) remained the same in 2018 and 2019, accounting for 0.5%.
Abortion Statistics from 2004 – 2019

Helpful Links/Organizations


Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) — UK

Citizens for a ProLife Society

American Life League

Population Research Institute

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers