From the Alan Guttmacher Institute
- 1.1 million U.S. abortions each year.
- Nearly 1 in 4 (22%) of pregnancies end in abortion
- 50% of women now seeking abortion have had at least one previous abortion.
- The U.S. abortion rate is among the highest of developed countries.
- 51% of abortions are performed on women less than 25 years of age.
- Approximately 1/3 of American women have had an abortion by age 45.
- Abortion disproportionately affects black and Hispanic women.
Dilation & Curettage (D&C)
Occasionally used through the 12th week. After dilation of the cervix, a curette is inserted into the uterus. The baby’s body is cut into pieces and extracted, often by suction. The uterine wall is then scraped to remove the placenta and confirm that the uterus is empty.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
Performed up to 18 weeks. Forceps are inserted into the uterus, grabbing and twisting the baby’s body to dismember it. If the head is too large it must be crushed in order to remove it.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X or Partial Birth Abortion)
Performed in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. The cervix is dilated. Forceps extract the live baby by the feet until the head is just inside the cervix. Scissors then puncture the skull, allowing the abortionist to collapse it by suctioning out the contents. The dead baby is then fully removed from the mother. This method is banned in the United States.
Used in the last three months of pregnancy. The womb is entered by a surgical incision in the abdominal wall, similar to a Caesarean section. However, the abdominal cord is usually cut while the baby is still in the womb, cutting off the oxygen supply and causing suffocation. Sometimes, though, the baby is delivered alive and left unattended to die.
Performed at about four months. The chemical digoxin is injected into the baby’s heart, causing immediate death. The dead baby’s body is then reabsorbed by the mother. This method is often used as “pregnancy reduction” when a mother carrying multiples wants fewer children.
Performed during the second half of pregnancy. A hormone-like compound is injected into the muscle of the uterus causing intense contractions and pushing out the baby. The violent contractions often crush the baby to death, though many babies have been born alive using this procedure, then left to die.
Used through the seventh week of pregnancy, RU-486 is a synthetic steroid that blocks the hormone progesterone. Women then take a second drug, prostaglandin to induce contractions and expel the dead baby. Ella, another abortion drug, works in the same way.
Usually performed during months four through seven. A 20% salt solution (the normal salt solution is .9%) is injected through the mother’s abdomen into the baby’s amniotic fluid. The baby ingests the solution and dies of salt poisoning, dehydration, and hemorrhaging of the brain. The baby’s skin is burned off. A dead or dying baby is delivered. A baby born alive is usually left unattended to die, though some have survived.
After dilation of the cervix, a suction curette (a tube with a serrated tip) is inserted into the uterus. The strong suction (29 times the power of a household vacuum cleaner) tears the baby’s body apart and sucks it through the hose into a container. This is the most common method of abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Risks of Abortion
- Heavy bleeding
- Incomplete abortion
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Uterine perforation
- Damage to internal organs
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Eating disorders
- Relationship problems
- Flashbacks of abortion
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sexual dysfunction
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Higher Risk of These Issues Later:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical, ovarian, and liver cancer
- Placenta previa
- Ectopic pregnancy