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Who gets abortions in Massachusetts? Here’s what the data show

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Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would codify abortion rights in state law and remove barriers that now prevent women in certain circumstances from getting abortions.

Women under 18, for example, need a parent’s consent or a judicial order to get an abortion — a restriction the bill would remove.

The bill would also allow an abortion after 24 weeks if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly. Abortions are now allowed in Massachusetts after that time only if the mother’s life or health is threatened.

There were 18,256 abortions in Massachusetts last year, according to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, which tracks the data. The annual number has dropped dramatically over time, after peaking at 44,044 in 1979.

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Here’s a look at who is getting abortions, at what ages, and in what circumstances, based on newly released 2018 data from the registry.


Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at Stephanie.Ebbert@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieEbbert