Elective Termination Of Pregnancy

Elective abortion is a very common gynecological procedure in almost every part of the world. In the United States, statistics detailing the number of these procedures performed during a given year have been kept with care ever since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions making abortion legal. Among the American institutions keeping track of the number of elective abortions performed are the National Abortion Federation, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ensure Safety

Every state in the U.S. has its own state health department which will have information available at its vital statistics office regarding specific state requirements for reporting abortions. American physicians believe that gathering accurate and comprehensive statistics about abortion helps to ensure that patients will weather these procedures in safety.

In 1996, for an example of this type of record-keeping, around 20 in every 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 44 underwent an abortion. For every 1000 live births that year, some 325 abortions were performed.

Over the past two decades, technological advances have made second-trimester abortions a much less dangerous option. In addition to such advances, abortion has become more acceptable in the eyes of society, so that women can wait longer to decide to terminate a pregnancy. In the year 2000, the CDC's statistics state that only 12.5% of abortion procedures were performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. Most of these abortions were surgical procedures performed between weeks 13 and 20, with the remainder of the procedures performed through the induction of labor.

Developing Countries

Statistics worldwide suggest that abortion is responsible for a minimum of 13% of all maternal deaths. In developing countries, estimates show that some 50 million abortions are induced on an annual basis. As many as 20 million of these procedures are performed under poor conditions or by providers with poor training. Worldwide, there are 600,000 maternal deaths every year from pregnancy-related causes and the vast majority of these deaths, 99%, take place in developing countries.

In the United States, only 1% of all abortions are induced, but the worldwide figure is 16%, with some of these labor induction procedures performed as early as 12 weeks into the pregnancy.

*Dating back to the 1973 Supreme Court Decision, around 1.4 million abortions have been performed every year in the U.S.

*Abortion is among the most common medical procedures that are performed within the U.S.

*In 2000, the drug mifepristone was approved for terminating pregnancy in the U.S.

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