The debate over abortions in the U.S. is one of the most divisive topics in recent history. And sometimes two words like “No reason,” can be interpreted very different ways.
The information claims that out of 70,083 abortions performed in Florida in 2018, 75% were done for “no reason.”
Or at least that’s how some of the people leaving comments have interpreted it.
It’s unknown whether the initial authors intended for the line to mean “no reason given.”
Were 75% of abortions in Florida done for “no reason?” Are the numbers in this post accurate?
The wording “no reason” is misleading and many of the comments show it’s easily taken out of context.
The numbers shown in the viral tweet accurately reflect data collected by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, but the 75% category is actually represented as “elective.”
And that's the key word: Elective.
Choosing that option on the form doesn't mean the abortion is happening for no reason. The patient could have made the choice not to share their reasoning.
WHAT WE FOUND:
In Florida, all doctors who perform abortions are required to fill out a form explaining what the purpose of the procedure was. See statute 390.0112 for more information.
The AHCA set up an online portal for doctors to access and submit information about abortion procedures. It’s this site that created the chart for 2018 that's referenced online and in the viral post.
A document that instructs providers on how to enter abortion information showed that there are only eight options for “reasons” in the system:
Abortion performed due to Rape
Abortion performed due to incest
Abortion performed due to serious fetal genetic defect, deformity, or abnormality
Abortion performed due to a life-endangering physical condition
Abortion performed due to physical health of Mother that is not life endangering
Abortion performed due to emotional/psychological health of the mother
Abortion performed due to social or economic reasons
While doctors are required to report a reason for the abortions they perform, patients are not required to give a reason.
Since the chart doesn't offer categories for “other” or “no reason given,” the remaining procedures fall into the “elective” category.
So yes, 75% of the abortions were listed as "elective," but that doesn't mean they happened "for no reason" as the viral tweet could indicate.
There's no way of knowing what the actual reasons were for that 75%.
It could mean that all of them happened for reasons not included on this list, or it could mean that numbers for abortion due to rape or incest or abnormalities should be much higher.
Bottom line, there's no way to know. So using that number to support a political claim in this argument is definitely misleading.