Tennessee Abortion Statistics
State abortion statistics from the leading public and private sources.
Collective state abortion statistics are gathered privately by the Guttmacher Institute and federally by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Because of reporting lag, their most recent data is often 2-3 years old. In most cases, state-level abortion facts are more current than the numbers reported by Guttmacher or the CDC. Guttmacher’s abortion statistics are estimates built on surveys of all known and suspected abortion providers; the CDC totals are made up of the actual abortion counts reported to the state health department by each abortion facility.
To read abortion stories from Tennessee, visit: Abortion Stories (Tennessee)
LEGAL STATUS OF ABORTION IN Tennessee
In 2022, elective abortion became illegal in Tennessee. This prohibition does not apply to the removal of a miscarried child. An abortion shall only be permitted if it is deemed necessary to preserve the life of the mother or to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function. The threat of suicide does not constitute a legal justification for abortion. The performance or attempted performance of an illegal abortion in Tennessee is a Class C felony. No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted may be charged or convicted of a criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child.
SOURCE: SENATE BILL 1257
Estimated Total Abortions (2020): 10,850
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that approximately 10,850 abortions took place in Tennessee during 2020. This number includes abortions performed on out-of-state residents but does not include abortions performed on Tennessee residents in other states. The table below compares Tennessee abortion totals by selected year.
Estimated Abortion Percentage (2020): 12.1%
In 2020, an estimated 12.1% of pregnancies in Tennessee ended in abortion. This number does not take into account miscarriages. It was arrived at by dividing Guttmacher's abortion estimate by the sum total of live births—as reported by the CDC—and estimated abortions.
Estimated Abortion Rate* (2020): 8.1
The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the 2020 abortion rate for Tennessee was 8.1. The 2020 abortion rate across the entire United States was 14.4. The table below compares Tennessee abortion rates by selected year.
*The abortion rate is the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years.
Percentage of All U.S. Abortions (2020): 1.2%
In 2020, approximately 1.2% of all U.S. abortions occurred in Tennessee.
Facilities That Perform Abortions (2017): 8
In 2017, the Guttmacher Institute reports that there were 8 abortion providers in Tennessee. The table below compares total Tennessee abortion facilities by selected year.
Total Abortions (2019): 9,719
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 9,719 abortions took place in Tennessee during 2019. This number includes abortions performed on out-of-state residents but does not include abortions performed on Tennessee residents in other states. The table below compares Tennessee abortion totals by year.
Abortion Percentage (2019): 10.8%
In 2019, 10.8% of pregnancies in Tennessee ended in abortion. This number does not take into account miscarriages. It was arrived at by dividing the state abortion ratio by the sum of the abortion ratio plus 1,000. The abortion ratio is the number of abortions that occurred per 1,000 lives births. The table below compares Tennessee abortion percentages by year.
Out-of-State Abortion Percentage (2019): 18.8%
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 18.8% of the abortions that took place in Tennessee were performed on out-of-state residents.
*U.S. averages are limited to reporting districts.
- State Abortion Statistics: Comparative state abortion stats by rank, total, percentage, and clinics.
- U.S. Abortion Statistics: Facts and figures relating to the frequency of abortion in the United States.
- U.S. Abortion Law: An overview of the history and legality of abortion in the United States.
- U.S. Abortion History: The 200-year history of abortion in America goes back well before 1973.
For Further Study:
- The Remarkably High Cost of Cheap Sex (Abort73 Blog)
- Does Poverty Lead to Abortion, or Does Abortion Lead to Poverty? (Abort73 Blog)
- The Law Can’t Make Abortion Safe; Birth Control Can’t Make Abortion Rare (Abort73 Blog)
- It’s All the Same: Why Early and Late-Term Abortion are Moral Equivalents (Abort73 Blog)
- The Moral Dilemma of Repeat Abortion (Abort73 Blog)
- Who is Most at Risk to Have an Abortion? (Abort73 Blog)
- Marriage, Contraception, and Unplanned Pregnancy (Abort73 Blog)