Abortion records are compiled from the Induced Termination of Pregnancy reports which are filed with the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) by state law. The abortions system has been in place in Missouri continuously since 1975, although changes in data items and definitions have taken place over the years. Information received by DHSS from these reports is confidential and is only used for statistical purposes.

Abortion is defined by statute (Missouri Revised Statute, Chapter 188) as the intentional destruction of life of an embryo or fetus in his or her mother’s womb or the intentional termination of pregnancy of a mother with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth or to remove a dead or dying unborn child.

Missouri cooperates with other states in the exchange of abortions records. However, some states only provide counts of Missouri resident abortions and not individual records.

A purpose and function of the reports of Induced Termination of Pregnancy received by Missouri DHSS is to preserve maternal health and life by adding to the sum of medical knowledge through the compilation of relevant maternal health and life data and to monitor all abortions performed to assure that they are done only under and in accordance with the provisions of the law.