The state of abortion, infant, and maternal care in Pa. | The Numbers Racket

The commonwealth’s infant mortality rate was 5.9 per 1,000 live births in 2019

By: - May 30, 2022 6:30 am

(Getty Images/Virginia Mercury)

Using the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Capital-Star compiled statistics on abortion, and maternal and infant care in Pennsylvania. 

Here’s what the Capital-Star found: 

Abortion Care & Access 

Of the 31,013 abortions reported to the CDC in Pennsylvania in 2019, 55 percent were conducted surgically. Forty-five percent were conducted via medication. 

2019 figures show that people ages 20-29 made up the majority (58 percent) of reported abortions. 

Distribution of reported abortions by age group: 

Up to age 198 percent

Ages 20-29 … 58 percent

Ages 30-39 … 30 percent

Ages 40 and above … 4 percent

Infant & Maternal Care 

Pennsylvania’s birth rate was 54.9 per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 2020.

The commonwealth’s infant mortality rate was 5.9 per 1,000 live births in 2019, the most recent year for which data are available. 

Pennsylvania’s Infant mortality rate by race: 

Among white infants, the infant mortality rate was 4.3 per 1,000 live births.

The infant mortality rate among Black infants in Pennsylvania was more than double that of white infants at 11.2 per 1,000 live births. 

Among Hispanic infants, the infant mortality rate was 6.5 per 1,000 live births. 

2020 data show that 34 percent of births were financed by Medicaid, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data. 

Infant birth weights also varied greatly by race. 

While 8 percent of all births in Pennsylvania were reported as having a low birth weight (under 5 lbs, 8 oz.), in 2020, 15 percent of Black births were reported to have a low birth weight. 

White births accounted for 7 percent of low birth weights in the commonwealth and Hispanic births accounted for 8 percent of low birth weights.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.

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