This is Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron. Got a minute?
Each year more than 1.1.million abortions are performed in the U.S.
Nailing down clear safety data has been difficult, because many women must travel and are lost to follow-up tracking.
California is one of 17 states that covers abortion and subsequent care for women enrolled in Medicaid.
Which means there's solid data about the procedure in that populous state.
And a study that took advantage of the existence of that data found that major complications,
or those that required hospital admission, surgery or blood transfusion, are exceedingly rare.
They occur in only 1 of 436 abortions.
The study tracked some 50,000 women for the six weeks following the procedure, regardless of trimester.
The results appear in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Women were likelier to require significant post-abortion care if they received the abortion at hospitals or physicians' offices instead of an outpatient clinic.
And overall they were more likely to experience complications if they received an abortion brought on by medication, versus a surgically-induced abortion.
The most common complications that could be parsed from billing records were incomplete or failed abortions.
Bottom line: abortion is a safe procedure for women when performed in a medical setting.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron.