From the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco.
Controversies section editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Senior Editor.
LATE ABORTION is the most controversial aspect of the most divisive
social issue of our times.1 The debate has
been strident, confusing, and at times, misleading.2
This article reviews the epidemiology of late abortion, defined herein as
abortions performed 21 or more completed weeks from the beginning of last
menses (this gestational age interval is the highest used in federal reports
on abortion3,4); discusses the
frequency, methods, safety, and indications of late abortions; and describes
controversies concerning the upper gestational age limit and attempts to prohibit
a specific abortion method.
Grimes DA. The Continuing Need for Late Abortions. JAMA. 1998;280(8):747-750. doi:10.1001/jama.280.8.747