Dr Hansen emphasizes an important point regarding the morbidity and mortality from induced abortion: in general, the earlier the procedure is performed the safer.1 However, his assertion that "it is invalid to make conclusions about abortion in general" is incorrect. Only if such later, more hazardous abortion procedures had been excluded from analysis would our general comparison between abortion and childbirth be biased.As emphasized in our article, the gestational age when a woman requests an abortion is one of the most important factors affecting her risk of dying. Detailed data1 on the risk of death from legal abortion by different methods at various gestational ages are available for physicians, counselors, and others who advise women about the safety of legal abortion.
Grimes DA, Cates W, Smith JC, Rochat RW. Mortality From Abortion and Childbirth-Reply. JAMA. 1983;249(2):194. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260018019