The Supreme Court, with a decision by its conservative majority, has overturned the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling — ending constitutional protections for abortion that had stood for nearly a half century. With this, abortion bans are expected in 26 U.S. states, with trigger bans setting off in 13. 

Patients seeking abortion care in Washington are set to more than quadruple with most traveling from neighboring Idaho and Montana, projects the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based abortion-rights research organization. 

A look at the data on who is seeking abortions here shows most are young people who already have children and are within the first trimester.

As of 2019, Washington recorded 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44, according to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 17,262 abortions performed that year, 848, or 5%, were obtained by out-of-state residents. 

Visual reporting of local news and trends is partially underwritten by Microsoft Philanthropies. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over this and all its coverage.

In 2020, after decades of decline in U.S. abortions, the Guttmacher Institute found rates were increasing again despite several states moving to ban abortions. Washington state bucked that trend recording a marginal decline in its abortion rate for 2017-20. 

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More than 73% of people seeking abortions were in their 20s and 30s, CDC data shows.

Most teen abortions, which constituted less than 10% in the state, were among those ages 17 and above. 

More than half of those who sought abortions in Washington state already had children, according to the CDC, and a majority of pregnant patients reported it was their first abortion. 

Visual reporting of local news and trends is partially underwritten by Microsoft Philanthropies. The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over this and all its coverage.

In other parts of the U.S. that reported the marital status of abortion seekers, 85.5% were unmarried, according to CDC data. 

In line with national trends, over 90% of these abortions took place in the first trimester of pregnancy, with the bulk performed at less than six weeks of pregnancy. Though more than half opted for a surgical abortion, this was still lower than the national average. 

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Across the U.S., among areas that reported the race and ethnicity of abortion seekers, the CDC data showed people of color were more likely to seek abortions than their white counterparts. Abortion rates among Black women were 3.6 times higher than among white women, and 1.8 times higher than among Hispanic women, according to the study. 

What the numbers say

Most people seeking abortions were poor or low income, according to a 2017 public health study. Though abortion rates had been on the decline for all income groups from 2008-14, people with lower incomes experienced the smallest decline at 26%, the study said, noting that the abortion rate lessened as income increased.