In the U.S., about half of women who have abortions have had no previous abortions, and 29 percent have had only one previous abortion. Considering that most women are fertile for more than 30 years, and that birth control is not perfect, the likelihood of having one or two unintended pregnancies is very high. When a woman falls accidentally pregnant and doesn’t want to be, there is only one treatment: abortion. Women should therefore not be judged for having more than one abortion, or restricted from doing so.
Statistically, it’s important to understand that once abortion has been legal for many years in a country, more women will have additional abortions as time passes – however, the number of subsequent abortions should stabilize in a few decades, as it now has in the United States. Further, if contraception is easily accessible, it should reduce the rate of subsequent abortions.
A high number of abortions over a woman’s lifetime usually reflects a severe lack of access to contraception in her country (such as in Russia). However, some research has also suggested that certain women are more fertile than other women, which may cause difficulties in finding an effective birth control method. For example, a Canadian study showed that some women ovulate twice a month, which can put them at much higher risk of unintended pregnancy.
New Scientist – Women can ovulate more than once a month (2003)
Guttmacher Institute – Repeat Abortion in the United States (2006)
Guttmacher Institute, Repeat Abortion, Repeat Unintended Pregnancy, Repeated and Misguided Government Policies (2007)