This Graph Speaks Volumes About Abstinence and Abortion

Research released this week from the conservative Family Research Council found that women who abstain from sex until the age of 20 and get pregnant are far less likely to ever have an abortion than those who are sexually active and get pregnant earlier in their teens.

Released by the Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute, the research is based on data from the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, a U.S. government research initiative.

The study found that only 6.2 percent of women who wait until they are 20 or older to have sex and get pregnant will ever have an abortion in their lifetime.

Women who become sexually active at age 14, though, and get pregnant have a significantly higher chance of having an abortion sometime in their life, reported. In fact, 37.9 percent of these women will have one or more abortions, the research found.

The below chart shows how sexual activity at an early age relates to abortion:

Image source: Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute

Age is clearly a major factor when discussing who is having abortions.

A summary from the Marriage and Religion Research Institute explains that “nearly 50 percent of first abortions are to those 20 years of age and younger, and 80 percent are to those 24 or younger.”

Another metric examined in the study is the number of sexual partners a woman has had. While only 6.4 percent of women who have aborted have only had one male sexual partner in their lives, 89 percent of women who reported having one or more abortions had three or more sexual partners.

Read the entire study here.



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