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Be Fully Informed Before The Abortion Decision

Abortion is a very controversial issue today. But through education and better understanding of the facts, we can make more informed decisions concerning abortion and pregnancy. This material represents a collection of facts and statistics on abortion. They have been compiled from a wide range of medical journals and publications to provide an up-to-date overview of abortion in America.

How many abortions are performed in America?

One out of every 4 babies conceived in the United States is aborted. In more than 14 metropolitan areas, abortions out number live births. More than 30 million abortions have occurred since 1973. Each year 1.5 million unborn babies die by abortion. (2)

Why are abortions performed?

Women choose abortion for many reasons, but the most common reasons they report are relational problems with the father of the child, worry about the responsibility, fear of financial liability, concern about lifestyle changes, and fear of others discovering sexual activity. (3)

Under the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, abortions may be performed for any reason (socioeconomic, failure of birth control, personal choice) prior to viability (about 24 weeks of pregnancy) and for any reason relating to the mother’s physical or psychological health thereafter. In these cases (post-viability abortions), the term “health” has been defined very broadly by the court to include any matter that might affect a woman’s “sense of well-being.” In effect, therefore, abortion is legal for any “health” reason throughout pregnancy.

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, Morbidy and Mortality Weekly Report, March 22, 1996.
2. Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Facts in Brief: Abortion in the United States,” August 31, 1994.
3. Aida Torres and Jacqueline Darroch Forrest, “Why Do Women Have Abortions?” Family Planning Perspectives (vol. 20, No.4)

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