Late pregnancy abortions: an analysis of Québec stillbirth data, 1981-2006

Int J Public Health. 2012 Apr;57(2):443-6. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0313-1. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Objectives: We evaluated late pregnancy abortions from 1981 to 2006 in Québec, Canada.

Methods: We extracted late abortions from the stillbirth mortality file, and calculated yearly rates per 100,000 pregnancies, including mean gestational age, birth weight, maternal age and education.

Results: There were 14.4 late abortions per 100,000 overall pregnancies [95% confidence interval 12.9, 16.1], and rates appeared to increase with time. Mean gestational age (24.7 weeks) and birth weight (886 g) suggested that abortions were performed in the late second and third trimesters.

Conclusions: Late abortions in Québec are not common but do occur. Research is needed to determine whether the increase in rates over time reflects better reporting or a true increase. Improved surveillance of late abortions may be warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Stillbirth / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult