Immigrant Abortion Rate On Par With Native-Born Abortion Rate In U.S.

In this Dec. 17, 2013, photo, an unidentified medical clinician interviews a patient at a Planned Parenthood location in Boston. The regulation of protests outside abortion clinics returns to the Supreme Court for the first time since 2000 to find the justices seemingly more protective of speech and less committed …
AP Photo/Steven Senne

The abortion rate among immigrants is about on par with the abortion rate for native-born Americans, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.

Using data from the Guttmacher Institute’s Abortion Patient Survey, the report — authored by CIS’ research director Steven Camarota — compares immigrant abortions to those in the native-born population.

According to Camarota’s report, the abortion rate for immigrant women in “their prime reproductive years” or ages 16 – 44 is 18.9 out of every thousand. For native-born women in the same category that number is 19.5 for every thousand. Camarota writes that the difference is “not statistically significant.”

More broadly, in 2008 immigrants had about 194,000 abortions, or about one in six abortions in the U.S.

The report points out that, when adjusted for the fact that immigrants largely arrive after the age of 25, the abortion rate changes slightly.

“Excluding those under age 25, the abortion rate for immigrants is 15.6 per thousand, somewhat higher than the 14.1 per thousand for natives in the same age range. This difference is statistically significant,” the report reads.

Camarota concludes that the abortion data signals that immigrants might not be more “socially conservative” than their native counterparts when it comes to their reproductive choices.

“While some commentators have suggested that immigrants are more socially conservative than native-born Americans, in terms of their abortion rates immigrant and native women are quite similar. In fact, when we control for age, immigrants are slightly more likely to have abortions than natives in some cases,” the report reads. “The findings also show that abortion rates are high for U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians. The relatively high rates of abortion among U.S.-born Hispanics and Asians may impact their partisan political preferences.”

Other findings in the report include:

*Looking at abortion by demographic groups among immigrant women ages 15 to 44, the rate is 34.7 per thousand for blacks, 19 per thousand for Hispanics, 16.5 per thousand for Asians, and 9.1 per thousand for non-Hispanic whites.

*Among native-born women ages 15 to 44 the abortion rate is 41.6 per thousand for blacks, 36.7 per thousand for Hispanics, 26.2 per thousand for Asians, and 11.4 per thousand for non-Hispanic whites.

*Of immigrants who had an abortion, 78 percent identified as generally religious, 63 percent were Christians, 44.9 percent were Catholic, and 16.3 percent were specifically “born again” or fundamentalist Christians.

*Of natives who had an abortion, 71.5 percent identified as generally religious, 66 percent were Christians, 25 percent were Catholic, and 20.3 percent were specifically “born again” or fundamentalist Christians.