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Fetal Development and Abortion

The following information is a basic presentation of the stages of fetal development and the abortion methods commonly used. 

First Trimester

7 Weeks of Fetal Development 

12 Weeks of Fetal Development


Day 1 - conception takes place

7 days - tiny human implants in mother’s uterus

10 days - mother’s menses stop

18 days - heart begins to beat

21 days - pumps own blood through separate closed circulatory system with own blood type

28 days - eye, ear and respiratory system begin to form

42 days - brain waves recorded, skeleton complete, reflexes present

7 weeks - thumbsucking

8 weeks - all body systems present

9 weeks - squints, swallows, moves tongue, makes fist

11 weeks - spontaneous breathing movements, has fingernails, all body systems working

12 weeks - weighs one ounce

Second Trimester


16 weeks - genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks, turns, somersaults, (still not felt by the mother.)

18 weeks - vocal cords work – can cry

20 weeks - has hair on head, weighs one pound, 12 inches long

23 weeks - 15% chance of viability outside of womb if birth premature*

Third Trimester


24 weeks - 56% of babies survive premature birth

25 weeks - 79% of babies survive premature birth


For many women, there is no good time to be pregnant. Between the educational goals, financial challenges and relationship issues, a young woman can be torn in many directions when an unplanned pregnancy occurs.

But it is still a very important time in your life. You deserve the care and attention provided by our trained volunteers. We can help you define the problems and find resources to create positive solutions in a gentle caring way.

Making important decisions is hard, and you need information you can trust. We want to make sure you have that information.

Abortion Facts
Abortion became legal in all 50 States on January 22, 1973 as a result of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade Decision.
Although many people believe this limited abortions to 24 weeks, the Doe v. Bolton (1973) and Webster Decisions expand abortion up until the moment of birth.
Since 1973 over 44 million1 babies have been aborted.
It is estimated that 43% of US women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 2
43% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% identify themselves as Catholic.3

1. Based on numbers reported by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute 1973-1992, 1994, with estimates of 1.5 million for 1993 and 1.4 million for 1995-2002. AGI estimates a possible 3% under reporting rate, which is factored into the total.

2. pro-abortion Allen Guttmacher Institute Website:

3. pro-abortion Allen Guttmacher Institute Website:

Copyright 2009 by CareNet Pregnancy Center of Rockland