Eight week old foetus. Hand holds an aborted human foetus, eight weeks old. The eighth week of pregnancy represents the end of the formative developmental stage and the embryo becomes a foetus. It is human-like in appearance, with the head large in proportion to the body. Eyes, ears and nose are developing. The limbs are long and bent at the elbows and knees, and the fingers and toes have differentiated. The genital organs develop into male or female at 7 weeks. All major organ systems are formed by the eighth week, but require growth. The umbilical cord is prominent. By eight weeks the foetus is about 3-4cm long (crown-rump length) and weighs under 10 grams.
ANNUAL ABORTION STATISTICS
In 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
In 2008, the highest number of reported abortions occurred in New York (124,867), NYC (89,469), Florida (86,817) and Texas (81,366); the fewest occurred in Wyoming (≤4), South Dakota (848), North Dakota (1,386), and Idaho (1,481) (CDC).
The 2008 abortion ratios by state ranged from a low of 59 abortions per 1,000 live births in Idaho (Wyoming had too few abortions for reliable tabulation) to a high of 732 abortions per 1,000 live births in NYC (CDC).
The annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990's. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 3.7% between 2000 and 2008, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006. (CDC)
In 1998, the last year for which estimates were made, more than 23% of legal induced abortions were performed in California (CDC).
In 2005, the abortion rate in the United States was higher than recent rates reported for Canada and Western European countries and lower than rates reported for China, Cuba, the majority of Eastern European countries, and certain Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (CDC).
Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended; about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-two percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion. (AGI).
WHO HAS ABORTIONS?
In 2008, 84.3% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women (CDC).
Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 33% of all abortions in 2008; women between 25-29 obtained 24% (CDC).
In 2008, women aged 20-29 years had the highest abortion rates (29.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20-24 years and 21.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25-29 years) (CDC).
50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions and teenagers obtain 17% (AGI).
In 2008, adolescents under 15 years obtained .05% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio, 821 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
47% of women who have abortions had at least one previous abortion (AGI).
Black women are more than 4.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely (AGI).
37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
At current rates, nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion (AGI).
WHY ARE ABORTIONS PERFORMED?
On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).