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<math>\mbox{Abortion ratio} = \frac{\mbox{Number of abortions}}{\mbox{Number of live births}} \times 1000</math>

The abortion ratio could be any nonnegative real value, and in principle may be more than 1000 (indicating more abortions than live births). Such high abortion rates, though rare, have been recorded, such as [[abortion in Russia|in Russia during Communist rule]].

Note that the abortion ratio does not take into account the pregnancies that result in spotaneous fetal death, either in the numerator or in the denominator.

==Relation with abortion rate==

The abortion ratio is related to but distinct from the [[abortion rate]]. The abortion ''rate'' has denominator the total number of women of childbearing age, rather than the total number of live births. They are related via the general fertility rate. Explicitly:

<math>\mbox{Abortion rate} = \frac{\mbox{Abortion ratio} \times \mbox{General fertility rate}}{1000}</math>

==Measurement==

To measure the abortion ratio correctly, both the number of abortions and the number of live births need to be recorded. Birth registration procedures generally take care of the latter. The former (number of abortions) is not measured as directly but can be estimated.