Lecture 21 - Global Demography of Abortion

author: Robert Wyman, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 14, 2010,   recorded: April 2009,   views: 3026
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Abortion is very common both worldwide and in the US. There is one abortion for every 3.2 live births. In places where contraception is not used, abortion is used as birth control. Neither legal nor religious proscriptions have a strong effect on abortion rates. In countries where abortion is illegal, maternal death rates are extraordinarily high. Legal, medically done abortions are safer than getting pregnant. Psychological responses depend on the individual and the culture.

Reading assignment:

Campbell, Neil A., Jane B. Reece and Lawrence G. Mitchell. Biology, 5th ed., pp. 228-231

Belanger, Daniele and Andrea Flynn. "The Persistence of Induced Abortion in Cuba." Studies in Family Planning, no. 40 (2009), pp. 13-26

Carlson, Elof. Mendel's Legacy: The Origin of Classical Genetics, pp. 32-35

Gladwell, Malcolm. "Dr. Rock's Error." The New Yorker, 13 March 2000, pp. 52-63

The Associated Press. "Agency Approves a Birth-Control Pill Halting Periods Indefinitely." The New York Times, 23 May 2007

Resources: Notes - Lecture 21 [PDF]

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