Not Cheery, But Important

Abortion isn’t a fun topic for most people, and I’m not trying to change your mind, but I feel like it’s up to everyone to get the facts. I have not had an abortion, but I am pro-choice. I don’t believe that it’s my place to tell other women what to do with their bodies. So here are facts:

Who Gets Abortions:

-According to the Guttmacher Institute, 3 in 10 (or 35%) American women will have an abortion before age 45. Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures in the US.

-49% of pregnancies in the US are unintended (about 3.2M) and 43% end in abortion.

-70-80% of women seeking abortions are single. 95% of abortions made in married couple involve the husband and the husband’s decision.

-240,000 pregnant women are subject to domestic violence each year. Pregnant women are twice as likely to be battered than non-pregnant women.

-The percentage of unintended pregnancies: 67% are black, 40% are white, 53% are Hispanic.

-The percentage of abortion rates: 30% are black, 36% are white, 25% are Hispanic.

We Are Moving Backwards:

-In 1930, illegal abortions was the cause of death for 2,700 women and in 1965, 200 women died from illegal abortions.

-In 2010 in the US: 367,752 children were born to women ages 15-19. 47,751 were in Texas. 1/3 of all women living in Texas do not live in a county with an abortion provider.

-In 1985, 23% of OBGYN programs taught first-trimester procedures, 21% included second-trimester abortion provision. In 1991, these numbers declined to 7%.

-Between 1982 and 2000, the number of abortion providers dropped by 38%, from 2,900 to 1,800. In 2008, there were 1,793. 64% offered second-trimester procedures, 23 offered up to 23 weeks, 11% offered at 26 weeks.

-Nearly every OBGYN (97%) will have a patient who wants an abortion.

-64% of abortion providers are at least 50 years old. Only 22% of doctors 35 or younger offer abortions.

-In 1978, 77% of US counties lacked an abortion provider. In 2000 and 2008, the number had risen to 87%.

The Procedure: 

-It’s estimated that 10-25% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. And estimated 1-5% pregnancies are lost between 13-19 week gestation. Stillbirths occur in .3% of pregnancies between the 20-27th weeks of gestation.

-In 2005, the Journal of American Medical Association found that fetuses are unable to feel pain until the 7th month of pregnancy. The UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists found that the area of the brain that responds to pain isn’t full formed until the 24th week of gestation.

-Around the time that midwives were replaced by college educated male doctors, the anti-abortion campaigns began.

-By legally enforcing abortion counseling sessions, women are: 1. Asked to spend more time and likely another trip to the office (Which is only fine if they don’t work, have children to take care of or live down the street from the clinic) 2. Counseling must be provided (Which isn’t always unbiased) and 3. The women will likely feel insulted and degraded when she is made to feel that she hasn’t thought about the procedure. Counseling sessions are not legally required for any other surgical procedure in the US. In 2012, 35 states required abortion counseling. 11 states require that women be counseled on inaccurate abortion information.

-Even if you are not pregnant, ask your OBGYN if they perform abortions. If they don’t, ask for your charts and find a doctor that does.

This is where I got the facts: If you are interested in learning more, and I hope you are, this is a great book with lots more facts and written from a stance very similar to my own. The author hasn’t gotten an abortion, but is very pro-choice about the options for other women: Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement.

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