Index

Canada comparison from 1970 (A Quick View)

Canadian statistics

NS Statistics

Reasons for Abortion

Go to Demographics NS in the Table of Contents for more information.

 

 

 

 

Hospital

Y1989

Y1990

Y1991

Y1992

Y1993

Y1994

Y1995

Y1996

Y1997

Y1998

Y1999

Y2000

Y2001

Y2002

Y2003

Y2004

Y2005

Y2006

Y2007

Y2008

Y2009

Y2010

Y2011

Y2012

Totals

Aberdeen

17

0

32

38

50

45

14

50

52

 

57

50

54

61

 

54

61

65

71

86

48

 

 

 

949

Colchester

75

90

56

77

52

70

89

70

68

59

24

64

57

54

 

 50

59

65

63

68

66

62

79

52

1,401

Queens

11

 0

0

0

15

15

12

0

0

15

0

12

12

 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

VGH/QEII

1679

1607

1561

1625

1678

1552

1564

1467

1580

1608

1513

1537

1544

1487

 

1627

1581

1695

1736

1748

1760

1802

1849

1662

37,462

Western Kings

0

0

0

0

20

45

29

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

94

Yarmouth Regional

38

46

42

40

47

44

46

47

50

30

0

0

 

 

 

 

35

25

20

 

 

 

 

 

510

Valley Regional

70

79

82

88

77

72

83

153

163

97

109

110

112

93

 

117

126

145

135

124

147

165

146

140

2,635

South Shore Regional

14

0

0

0

0

10

0

12

16

13

0

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

15

22

128

Fisherman’s Mem

4

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Sydney City

130

106

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

236

Cape Breton Regional

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

IWK

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

54

82

67

 

 73

55

64

68

59

53

98

84

84

774

Clinic Abortions

0

0

587

520

624

542

429

0

161

136

137

115

84

86

 74

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,422

Other Hospitals

0

39

38

19

10

0

10

4

20

8

72

0

 

18

 

 6

5

10

 

 

5

<5

<5

<5

285

     Sub Totals

2,038

1,967

2398

2407

2573

2405

2276

1803

2110

2010

1912

1953

1941

1874

1925

1927

1917

2059

2093

2097

2074

2142

2173

1960

48,010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Births

 

 

12139

8597

12610

11212

10772

10570

10254

9613

9576

9074

8737

8568

8650

 8637

8552

8513

8862

9223

8968

8865

8918

7293*

199,365

Recorded Deaths

 

 

-7314

-7593

-8597

-7843

-7745

-7745

-7773

-7874

-7704

-7918

-7803

-7919

 

 -8167

-8307

-8117

-8404

8269

 8251

8356

 

 

144,144

Difference

 

 

4825

1004

4013

3369

3027

2825

2481

1739

1872

1156

934

649

 

470

245

396

258

954

 717

509

 

 

36,752

Hospital names and service configurations changed during the past few years.  Hence, some instances of Zero’s, along with fewer than 10 abortions performed in some of these hospitals.  An example would be Western Kings is now Valley Regional.  The Sydney hospital is now closed and the one abortionist left town.  The VGH/QEII moved second trimester abortions to the IWK.  The VGH/QEII is still doing abortions.  

There seems to be inconsistencies from year to year in reporting.  Which came from a new person doing the reporting as well as the procedures to acquire the information from the Provincial government.

The number 10 usually means less than 10. 

This is the best effort with the data that is available to me.

Cost reported in 1992, 267,519.45, paid to Clinic 19,467.49.  In 1998 265,508.00.  In 1999 248,853.  In 2000,  paid to physicians only, and including the Clinic 260,587.

Cost reported in 2001 $255,505

Cost reported in 2002 $268,355.14

Cost reported in 2005 $280,078.84

Cost reported in 2006 $301,425.24

Cost reported in 2007 $315,876.77
Cost reported in 2008 $310,606.83 paid to physcians
Cost reported in 2009 $341,172.11 paid to physicians

Cost reported in 2010 $355,995.28 paid to physicians

Cost reported in 2011 $362,287.83 paid to physcians

For National rates dating back to 1970 go to : http://www.statscan.ca

Nova Scotia had 643 abortions in 1971 and 1700 in 1981/

Abortion Statistics for Canada available Johnson website
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/ab-canada.html

Year

Total

Hospitals

Clinics

U S A

Per 100 Live Births

 

 

1970

11,152

11152

--------

--------

3.0

 

 

1971

37,232

30923

--------

6309

10.2

 

 

1972

45,426

38853

--------

6573

13.1

 

 

1973

48,702

43201

--------

5501

14.2

 

 

1974

52,435

48136

--------

4299

14.9

 

 

1975

53,705

49311

--------

4394

14.9

 

 

1976

58,712

54478

--------

4234

16.3

 

 

1977

59,864

57564

--------

2300

16.5

 

 

1978

66,710

62290

2618

1802

18.6

 

 

1979

69,745

65043

3629

1073

19.1

 

 

1980

72,099

65751

4734

1644

19.4

 

 

1981

71,911

65053

4207

2651

19.3

 

 

1982rate

75,071

66254

4506

4311

20.2

 

 

1983

69,368

61750

3635

3983

18.6

 

 

1984

69,449

62247

3571

3631

18.4

 

 

1985

69,216

62712

3706

2798

18.4

 

 

1986

69,572

63462

3498

2612

18.6

 

 

1987

70,023

63585

3681

2757

18.9

 

 

1988

72,693

66137

4617

1939

19.3

 

 

1989

79,315

70705

7059

1551

20.2

 

 

1990

92,901

71092

20236

1573

22.9

 

 

1991

95,059

70277

23343

1439

23.6

 

 

1992

102,085

70408

31151

526

25.6

 

 

1993

104,403

72434

31508

461

26.9

 

 

1994

106,255

71630

34287

338

27.6

 

 

1995

106,658

70549

35650

459

28.2

 

 

1996

111,757

74579

36877

301

30.49

 

 

1997

111,819

71845

39681

293

32.0

 

 

1998

110,520

68290

41933

297

32.2

 

 

1999

105.666

63815

 41799

231

31.3

 

 

2000

105,000

63507 

41919

215

32.2

 

 

2001

106,418

61227

45064

175

31.9

 

 

2002

105,154

58254

46846

152

32.1

 

 

2003

103,768

56089

47669

149

31.0

 

 

2004

336,003

100,763

 

158

 

 

7,254

 

117

 

2005

342,176

2006

350,181

91,387

5

 

2007

367,864

98754

 

2008

377,886

95876

2009

380,863

93755

 

4,129,255 *

 

 

 

 

 

  *  Reported to Statscan 65,627 abortions in 1999 from all provinces except Ontario, down 3.2% from 67,785 in 1998”

Historical Notes:

Before 1969 the law permitted abortions only when necessary to preserve the life of the mother. The law was amended on May 14, 1969 to allow abortions in cases where "the continuation of the pregnancy ...would be likely endanger the life or death of the mother". The word "health" was never defined. Abortions were to be performed in accredited hospitals with the approval of therapeutic abortion committee of 3 doctors.

On January 28, 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the 1969 law on the basis of "unequal access" to Therapeutic Abortion Committees across Canada.  There was no cut-off point in pregnancy after which abortions may not be performed... this means abortions can be performed at any time during pregnancy.  Pregnancy is not a disease: however, StatsCan reports that the most frequently performed surgical procedure in Canada is the abortion procedure.  Abortion is elective surgery that does not cure a medical condition, paid for by tax dollars.

The leading cause of death in Canada is induced abortion..

Interesting but distasteful, is the fact that the average stay in hospitals for abortion cases is less than one day. Any complications incurred when in hospital are reported ONLY for the first complication (hemorrhage, infection, laceration, perforation, retained products of conception or 'other').

One in 25 women hospitalized after abortion.  Much lower StatsCan figure based on incomplete and misleading data, study shows By Isabelle Begin, The Interim

A recent custom tabulation of Canada's hospitalization statistics shows that, out of 103,244 women who received legally induced abortions in 1992-1993, 3,931 women were hospitalized for an average of two days because of life-threatening complications. This yields a hospitalization rate of 3.8 per cent, or one out of 25 women - a rate three times higher than the 1.3 per cent figure given in Statistics Canada's 1995 Therapeutic Abortions publications.

The two percentages differ because they come from two distinct databases. In the Therapeutic Abortions publication, from which official abortion statistics are taken, the total complication rate is lower than the custom tabulation figure for the following reasons:

1.       Complications from abortions performed in clinics are not covered, when one out of three abortions in Canada is performed in a clinic;

2.       Only three-quarters of all hospitals surveyed report medical complications due to abortion; and

3.     Those hospitals report only immediate complications. Complications requiring re-admission, therefore, are not linked to the original abortion record in any way.

The custom tabulation, however, comes from Statistics Canada's hospitalizations database, which covers all hospitalizations by diagnosis code given upon admission for in-patient care (The type of care involving at least one overnight stay). The code for complications from legally induced abortion is ICD 635.

The custom tabulation yielded the number of hospital records in which diagnosis code ICD 635, appears in any of the five diagnosis fields, with each record being counted only once, even if this same code appears twice on the same record. In the latest year for which these figures are available from Statistics Canada, namely 1992-1993, there were 3,931 such hospital records. Out of 103,244 abortions performed that year, this yields a hospitalization rate of 3.8 per cent, or one out of 25 women.

So why are abortions so dangerous that they land one in 25 women in the Hospital? The World Health Organization (WHO) in its 1994 publication, Clinical Management of Abortion Complications, warns doctors (but not their female patients, sadly) that if induced abortions are incomplete, the women are in danger of hemorrhaging (bleeding heavily) or of septicemia (blood poisoning), or both.

Hemorrhaging involves the loss of large quantities of blood due to the sudden exposure of major blood vessels when retained placenta or baby parts detach from the uterus. Septicemia results from bacteria festering in retained cadaver parts and spilling into the mother's blood stream. 

Delayed hemorrhage is a particularly dangerous occurrence. It can result from abdominal injuries, lacerations or perforations made during the procedure. Numerous studies have shown that doctors can inadvertently inflict this kind of damage using the dilator, the suction cannula, the forceps and the curette (a sharp instrument used to scrape the uterus after suction and dismemberment of the child). If a woman's hemorrhaging is delayed, she is at great risk, since by the time the bleeding begins, she may be on the road traveling home. As the WHO's 1994 publication repeatedly states, "Delays in stopping the bleeding and replacing fluid or blood volume can be fatal. If not treated promptly, hemorrhage can result in shock and death."

Canadian hospital records show how serious an emergency it is when women are hemorrhaging or have septicemia. Doctors must perform emergency blood transfusions, D & Cs and A & Cs, and remove retained placenta.

Will women ever know that they have a one in 25 chance of needing life-saving

hospitalization after the procedure? There is no reason that they shouldn't, now that we

have accurate statistical information. 

These figures are from Stats Canada Therapeutic Abortions as follows: now from

1970-1995 incl.:  http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/971105/d971105.htm#ART2

1996-1997:  http://www.statcan.ca:80/Daily/English/000407/d000407c.htm

1998:  http://www.statcan.ca/english/Pgdb/People/Health/health42a.htm

Revision Date:  April, 2009

Abortion Comparisons from 1970 Canada

 

2,001

2,003

2,005

 

Prov.

Live Birth

Abortion

L. Birth

Abortion

L. Birth

Abortion

% Aborted

BC

40,575

15,908

40,827

15,499

40,827

14,927

26.1

AB

37,619

10,603

40,287

10,814

42,110

11,040

20.5

SK

12,275

1,900

12,038

1,846

14,145

2,363

14.3

MB

14,002

3,375

13,940

3,670

11,167

1,723

12.6

ON

131,709

38,827

130,927

36,666

133,760

33,609

20.1

PQ

73,695

31,065

76,346

30,882

76,346

29,231

27.7

NB

7,195

1,028

7,117

944

6,892

1,032

13

NS

8,909

1,890

8,650

1,925

8,557

1,944

18.5

NL

4,716

893

4,629

895

4,501

883

16.4

PE

1,380

174

1,417

137

1,340

126

8.6

Canada

333,744

106,323

335,202

104,099

342,176

97,254

22.5

 

Live Births

Abortions

Per Centage

Canada 1970

371,988

11,200

2.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for Abortion 2009 USA

REASONS FOR ABORTIONS: COMPILED ESTIMATES


REASONS FOR ABORTIONS: COMPILED ESTIMATESIn this survey, 0.6% reported being forced to have relations (although a figure as high as 0.8% is possible depending on data breakdown). It is also interesting to note that 17% of abortions were for pregnancies following "proper" use of contraception.

This would tend to undermine the claims regarding the efficacy of contraception methods, something highly promoted by groups such as Planned Parenthood. An AGI study published in 2005 [6] was modeled after the 1987 study, providing an update to that work. This survey was conducted from December 2003 to March 2004; of approximately 2,000 women obtaining abortions who were surveyed, 1,209 completed questionnaires. As with the 1987, only rounded percentages as opposed to raw numbers were reported. Again, respondents could give multiple reasons, and the median number of four reasons were given. The table below gives reported percentages for the most important reason and for all reasons cited.

REASONS GIVEN FOR ABORTIONS: AGI SURVEY, 2004

 

 

Recent AGI literature has given figures of abortions following rape or incest. For example, an April 2005 information sheet [7] states that about 13,000 women have abortions following rape or incest. This is 1.0% of AGI-estimated annual abortions in 2000-2002. This figure appears to be derived from the 1987 survey percentage (or from preliminary results of the 2004 survey).

Issues with rape-related statistics: The AGI-based figure of 1% of abortions for cases of rape or incest is widely cited. However, it is the product of a limited survey by an organization with a stated objective of advocating unlimited access to abortion services. It is thus desirable to seek an independent source of such figures, such as that provided by the state reported statistics reviewed below. Evaluating this claim involves issues of reliability of rape-related statistics.

 

If the AGI figure for 1987 is correct, it would imply that 15,600 abortions in 1987 were for such cases.[8] Since the FBI only reported 91,110 forcible rapes in the U.S. in that year[9], this would imply that one out of six rapes resulted in pregnancy. This is higher fraction than appears to be supported by medical research--although the degree to which rapes go unreported is an issue here.

 

According to the FBI, reported annual numbers of rapes rose from just over 90,000 in the late 1980s to a peak of 109,000 in 1992, then dropped to about 90,000 for the years 1999-2002. Some sources estimate much larger unreported numbers. Stewart and Trussell [10] cite 333,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported in 1998, and additionally cite a National Women's Study which claimed 683,000 rapes in 1992. The latter figure would mean 5.3 unreported rapes for every reported rape. The wide range in estimates of unreported rapes is evidence of the problem of quantifying these figures.

 

Another issue is the frequency of rape-related pregnancy. Some sources claim very low frequencies, citing medical studies, and concluding the total number of pregnancies resulting from rape each year is on the order of 200-500.[11] Others obtain somewhat higher frequencies. Holmes et al. [12] surveyed 4,008 women and found a rate of pregnancy following rape of 5%. Additionally, of 34 cases of pregnancy after rape, they found 17 (50%) had an abortion, 11 (32%) kept the baby, 2 (6%) gave the baby up for adoption, and 4 (12%) miscarried. This frequency of 5% is representative of cited values.

Taking currently reported rapes of 90,000 per year and assuming 5% result in pregnancy and 50% of these are aborted, this implies 4,500 pregancies per year following rape of which 2,250 are aborted. The most extreme claimed rates of underreporting are necessary to bring this in line with AGI's claim of 13,000 rape-related abortions per year. Even higher levels of rape-related pregnancies have been claimed: Stewart and Trussell [10] cite the previously mentioned National Women's Study claiming 32,000 per year in 1992, and this figure is repeated by Holmes et al. [12] and by an AGI article in 2002 [13]. Stewart and Trussell extrapolate this to 25,000 per year in 1998 merely by considering lower crime rates. These higher rates are required to support the AGI claim of 1% of abortions for rape. Alternately, if only 50% of rapes are unreported then (using Holmes et al. data) a percentage of only 0.35% of abortions for rape is implied.

 

Such statistical approaches are very uncertain. The reasons for abortion are of course self-reported by the abortion seeker and thus not verifiable. It could be hypothesized that for various reasons women seeking abortions might falsely give rape as a reason, or alternately conceal rape as a reason. Apart from the issue of the rate of underreporting, certainly it is the case that many rapes go unreported. Thus, rape-related abortion data interpretation is hampered by the particularly traumatic circumstances of such cases. Nonetheless, it will be seen below that the larger sampling in states that report figures for rape-related abortions give consistent results, supporting the reasoning for lower figures than the AGI figures.

 

Abortions for sex selection: While not a major issue in the United States, abortions for the purpose of selecting the sex of the child are quite common in Asia, where they are generally used to abort female fetuses. Several Asian countries, including the People's Republic of China, India, and South Korea, are beginning to show significant demographic impacts resulting from such practices. India and the PRC have both been compelled to legislate against sex-selection abortions despite their otherwise broad support of abortion practice.[14]

 

Regarding the United States, in 1998 JAMA published a study[15] reporting a 0.2% decrease in the ratio of male to female live births from 1970 to 1990. The authors of the 1998 study discuss a variety of health factors that could influence this ratio. Data from the CDC in 2002[16] suggested that the decrease in the male/female birth ratio was 0.3% from 1970 to 2000. In 2005 the CDC completed a more detailed analysis[17] of trends in the U.S. male/female birth ratio. The authors identified several up or down trends in the ratio between 1940 and 2002, including a 0.6% decline in the male/female birth ratio from 1970 to 2002. They analyzed possible factors (age of mother, birth order, ethnicity) and noted additional parental/environmental characteristics that naturally influence the birth ratio. They did note that family preference can affect the birth ratio (although they did not explicitly point out that this is via such means as sex selection abortions) and that this does affect it in some countries, but do not report any indication that it is a factor in the United States. The historical variation in U.S. male/female birth ratio is within the range observed in connection to biological influences (e.g. parental/environmental).

Nonetheless, of reported trends in male/female birth ratio by ethnic group, the 2005 CDC study finds the greatest increase from 1970 to 2002 among children of Chinese and Japanese ethnicity: a trend of an increase of 0.022 for Chinese and 0.013 Japanese children, respectively. The result is that births of Chinese ethnicity have the highest average male/female ratio in 1998-2002, 1.076 versus the national average of 1.048.[17]

The overall change in the male/female birth ratio from 1970 to 2002 represents about 13,000 fewer annual male births by 2002, which would correspond to about 1% of abortions.[18] Still, this is too small a change in sex ratio to be distinguished among other potential causes for the population at large. Some observers suggest that this is an issue in some ethnic groups[14]. Were the change in birth ratio among Asian Americans to be attributed to abortions, it would represent on the order of 1,000-2,000 abortions per year, or about 0.1% of abortions. This may be considered an upper limit.

 

Summary and conclusions: Based on these figures, the following estimated percentages are suggested (along with ranges of values from the above studies and analyses):

REASONS FOR ABORTIONS: COMPILED ESTIMATES

rape

0.3 % (0.1-0.6 %)

incest

0.03 % (0.01-0.1 %)

physical life of mother

0.2 % (0.1-0.3 %)

physical health of mother

1.0 % (0.1-3 %)

fetal health

0.5 % (0.1-1.0 %)

mental health of mother

depends on definition

"personal choice"
--too young/immature/not ready for responsibility
--economic
--to avoid adjusting life
--mother single or in poor relationship
--enough children already
--sex selection

98% (78-99 %)
--(32 %)
--30% (21-36 %)
--(16 %)
--(12-13 %)
--(4-8 %)
--(<0.1 %)>

Quantifying cases involving the "mental health" of the mother is difficult due to the highly subjective use of this term (as demonstrated by the wide range in percentage of abortions reported for this reason). It is likely that the number of cases involving clinical mental illness falls towards the low end of the range given above.

These official state statistics suggest that the commonly cited AGI figures for the "hard cases" are high, perhaps by a factor of three. In any case, however, there appears to be consensus that the hard cases--rape, incest, life/health of mother or baby--are a very small fraction of cases. They are arguably a poor premise for formulating general public policy regarding abortion. At the other extreme, AGI's surveys of 1987 and 2004 (as well as the detailed statistics from Minnesota) suggest that a significant fraction of abortions are obtained by mothers who have the means to care for a child but do not want their lives inconvenienced. This is an example of the consequences of the current extreme policy in the United States regarding abortion.



© 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 9 October 2008.
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/index.html#AD