664,435. That is how many abortions were reported in 2013 in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pro-life group, Created Equal, was on campus Oct. 18. The group works to inform young adults about what occurs during abortions by showing images of abortion victims to provoke discussion from students about the issue.
College students and women in their 20s accounted for 58.6 percent of abortions in 2013, according to the CDC. Of these abortions, 67.9 percent were performed by curettage at less than 13 weeks, 22.2 percent were performed by early medical abortion and 8.6 percent were performed after 13 weeks by curettage.
Curettage is typically used to remove a fetus after a miscarriage. In this procedure, the cervix is dilated and then the uterine tissue is removed using a curette, which is a sharp, spoon-shaped tool, or uses suction, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The largest percent of abortions occur before 13 weeks, but here is what that fetus has developed in those weeks according to the Mayo Clinic:
- At seven weeks, the baby’s brain and face are growing.
- At eight weeks, a baby’s legs, fingers, ears, eyes, nose and upper lip begin to form while the trunk and neck begin to straighten.
- At nine weeks, a baby has developed toes and eyelids.
- At 10 weeks, the baby is bending his or her elbows. The toes and fingers lose their webbing and become longer and the umbilical cord is clearly visible.
- At 11 weeks, buds for future teeth appear, red blood cells begin to form in a baby’s liver and the genitalia begins to develop.
- At 12 weeks, the baby has fingernails, the baby’s face is a more developed profile and has intestines inside its abdomen.
- At 13 weeks, the baby has functioning organs, nerves, and muscles; the bones are beginning to harden; bodily functions such as urinating start to occur and the skin starts to thicken.
At 13 weeks a baby looks and has a majority of the features that grown adults have. The only difference, the 13- week-old fetus can still be legally murdered in 48 states and the District of Columbia, according to a New York Times article, 2013.
There are many counter-arguments to pro-life such as the current argument on Facebook and Twitter about choosing between 1,000 embryos and a 5-year-old child during a fire, if a young woman cannot financially support a child then she should abort because it will be better for the child, and children will be placed into state custody and will not be adopted when born. These arguments do not stand when presented with data.
First, the Facebook and twitter argument has been shared, retweeted and liked over 100,000 times. The argument compares embryos not inside a human body to a 5-year-old child. The 1,000 embryos presented in the scenario are not growing because they are not in a human body or any type of artificial womb.
The five-year-old child, however, is growing. The question of choosing between the two does not undermine the pro-life argument but instead reaffirms it because the growing life is chosen rather than the embryo that is not incubated.
Scientific advancements are occurring with in-vitro fertilization, IVF, where embryos are being grown in artificial wombs. One example of these advancements are the experiments of Dr Hung-Ching Liu of Cornell University’s Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility, according to The Guardian.
The second argument is that if a woman is incapable of financially supporting a child, she should abort because it will be better for the child. This is also not true.
According to American Adoptions, women who chose to place their child up for adoption may be eligible for compensation for pregnancy-related expenses, have the ability to choose the adoptive family, control their baby’s adoption process and have the right to choose the amount of openness they want in their child’s life.
Abortion, however, limits or eliminates these opportunities. According to American Adoptions, abortions typically cost between $300 and $950. Costs vary depending on the person’s location. Women prevent the child from living with a capable family of the biological parents choosing and give up the chance to meet and experience life with their son or daughter.
The third argument is that children will be placed into state custody and not adopted when born. In 2008, 135,813 children were adopted in the U.S., according to The National Infertility and Adoption Education Nonprofit Creating a Family.
There are families looking to adopt children all across the country. I know of one family in my hometown who is trying to adopt as well as two that have recently adopted. Adoptive families are out there.
I acknowledge that some women do not have a choice in whether or not they abort a child. In those cases, the abortion typically is not wanted but is necessary.
Abortions should not be the first solution to an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Other options are available to help both the mother and the child grow and succeed.