Late Term Abortion Statistics:
Before estimating late term abortion statistics, it is important to consider that a late-term abortion often refers to an induced abortion procedure that occurs after the 20th week of gestation. However, the exact point when a pregnancy becomes late-term is not clearly defined. Some sources define an abortion after 12 completed weeks gestation as "late". Others define an abortion after 16 weeks as "late". 21 weeks is widely accepted as the age of "viability," the minimum age at which the unborn child would be able to survive independently outside the mother's womb.
Statistics for Selected Countries:
Canada: During the year 2003, 6.5% of induced abortions were performed between 13 to 16 weeks, 2.2% between 17 to 20 weeks, and 0.8% over 20 weeks. This sample included procedures carried out in hospitals and clinics.
England and Wales: In 2005, 9% of abortions occurred between 13 to 19 weeks, while 1% occurred at or over 20 weeks.
New Zealand: In 2003, 2.03% of induced abortions were done between weeks 16 to 19, and 0.56% were done over 20 weeks.
Norway: In 2005, 2.28% of induced abortions were performed between 13 to 16 weeks, 1.24% of abortions between 17 and 20 weeks, and 0.20% over 21 weeks.
Scotland: In 2005, 6.1% of abortions were done between 14 to 17 weeks, while 1.6% were performed over 18 weeks.
Sweden: In 2005, 5.6% of abortions were carried out between 12 and 17 weeks, and 0.8% at or greater than 18 weeks.
United States: In 2003, a total of 848,163 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. From data collected in those areas that sufficiently reported gestational age, it was found that 6.2% of abortions were conducted from 13 to 15 weeks, 4.2% from 16 to 20 weeks, and 1.4% at or after 21 weeks. 1.4% of 848,163 means that 11,874 unborn children, at or over the age of 21 weeks, were legally killed in the United States of America in 2003.
21 Week Old Patient
The photograph below is of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Dr. Joseph Bruner.
Little Samuel was diagnosed with spinal bifida and it was determined that he would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta and she had heard of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure and skill. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Bruner performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.
During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision that allows him to access and operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.
The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, 'Hand of Hope.' The text explaining the picture begins, 'The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.'
Little Samuel's mother said they 'wept for days' when they saw the picture. She said, 'The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person.' Samuel was born in perfect health; the operation was 100 percent successful.