After the murder of abortion provider George Tiller for doing third-trimester abortions, there were a lot of hysterical accusations about the number of abortions he did and the reasons for them. I looked for solid research on the reasons. I read the personal experiences of people who had to face third-trimester abortions. They wanted to have a baby, but genetic or developmental errors intervened. Given the frequency of these defects, Dr. Tiller probably did about a 100 – 200 a year, but that’s just a rough estimate on my part. It’s certain he didn’t do 60,000, which would keep him working feverishly every day for two lifetimes.
The reasons they gave were basically the same as those I found in a research paper from 1999, on second-trimester and third-trimester abortions at one hospital over several years. Only “singletons” were studied, so none of the fetuses were conjoined twins, which is another way that a fetus can be non-viable. About 2/3 were done in the second trimester and 1/3 in the third trimester. The reasons for a third-trimester abortion were:
* In 40%, an earlier test indicated that a defect existed but not how serious it was. Doctors delayed and re-tested to see if the defect was serious enough to be life-threatening. Some genetic conditions can be mild or severe, so to prevent unnecessary abortions the doctors waited.
* In 37%, an earlier test failed to find the serious defects that showed up later.
* In 18%, a diagnosis for this kind of defect can’t be made until the third trimester. This often seems to include anencephaly, a fatal birth defect.
* And in the remaining 5%, doctors or parents delayed the decision to abort. I correlated this with what I’ve read about doctors ordering yet another another test to make sure, waiting for a referral, parents not able to believe the news, having hysterics and going home, and praying for a miracle.
Dommergues M, Benachi A, Benifla JL, des Noëttes R, Dumez Y., British Journal of Obstetrical Gynaecology, 1999 Apr;106(4):297-303. The reasons for termination of pregnancy in the third trimester. PubMed ID: 10426234.
If third-trimester abortions are outlawed, some parents may choose earlier abortions when it’s not certain they are needed.
Some critics mentioned club foot as a reason for abortion. Club foot means that at least one foot is turned in. It is not a reason for abortion, but it is a warning to screen very carefully for other health problems. The same goes for other deformities of the digits or limbs. Club foot is associated with spina bifida and anencephaly and other birth defects, some of them fatal.
One defect that can be missed at the second-trimester scan is anencephaly, in which the brain fails to develop. It is uniformly fatal, often before or during birth.
June 22, 2009 at 23:30
Yet the face might look perfectly normal. I suspect much of what motivates the anti-choice crowd is the natural association of what looks like a person with the presence of a person. They cannot abide the fact that what makes us who we are develops gradually, and in some cases won’t develop at all. Whether they couch it in religious terms, or try for a purely secular version, the narrative that drives them is the notion of ensoulment, a magical moment where personhood arrives.
November 15, 2010 at 21:52
can you please tell me the chemical used to ensure the death of these babies before birth. The one I seek must be given intravenously and was given with synetocinon. Please help me very important
November 15, 2010 at 22:46
Not being an anaesthesiologist, I don’t know. It probably depends on the hospital.
June 23, 2009 at 03:00
[…] a look at “What causes third-trimester abortions?” at Science […]
June 23, 2009 at 08:14
Thanks for gathering some facts. This is what I thought and now I have somewhere to point people.
June 23, 2009 at 08:57
Over at the Questionable Authority, a pro-lifer stated that his website included the following data: From January 1989 to May 2002, he performed 2,210 abortions, or about 165 a year. I also saw a report that he performed 230 in 2003. So 100-200 per year is a good estimate for the last 20 years. Call it 4,000.
So whence the claim of 60,000? Supposedly, he said it in an interview. However, I’ve tried to track the source. Everything I could find led to one of two places. One was a website that had a short ~10-second clip in which someone claimed to have performed over 60,000 (or 16,000 – it wasn’t clear) abortions, but gave no details regarding the interview, such as when it was or who performed it. The other source was a downloadable ring-tone of the same clip, again with no corroborating details.
To get to 60,000 abortions, he would have had to perform at least 3,200 per year starting sometime in 1971 to 1988 (he took over his father’s practice in 1971 and refused to perform an abortion for the first woman that requested it, but she died from a “back-alley” abortion, which is why he changed his mind). That’s more than one per hour on a normal work schedule.
What I suspect may have happened is that the interview (assuming it is not a false flag op) was actually with Dr. Carhart, who has announced he will take over from Dr. Tiller. I saw data that his clinic performed just under 2,000 abortions in one year, sufficient for 60,000 over the course of 36 years. Keep in mind that his clinic was full-service and included early-term abortions, which are much quicker to perform.
June 23, 2009 at 09:08
My question is … are all these “serious defects” uniformly fatal? Serious enough to be “life-threatening” doesn’t necessarily (to me at least) indicate they will be fatal.
June 23, 2009 at 18:37
Anencephaly is fatal. Being born with no or a damaged heart, no kidneys, no esophagus is fatal and is common in diagnoses of Down Syndrome. Spinal bifida can be fatal depending on the extent of the damage. Were you aware that the mean stillbirth rate in the United States is approximately 1 in 115 births?
June 23, 2009 at 13:32
[…] June 22: Science Notes: What causes third-trimester abortions? […]
June 23, 2009 at 15:39
None of these abortions are “necessary”, not one. The intentional killing of an unborn baby is never justified. I find that the pro-abortion crowd like to spin it as a “need” even though it’s not. Why is there a constant attempt to make it seem like abortion is an absolute necessity? That’s simply dishonest. Emotional trauma does not ever justify taking someone’s life or hurting another person, whether they’re born or unborn, and if we think a baby will die or be disabled when they are born, so what? Is that a crime? Give them to another family for adoption. Wow, selfishness seems to be the rule of the pro-abortion crowd. Unbelievable.
June 23, 2009 at 18:44
I’ll reply why is there a constant attempt to make it seem like abortion is never necessary? If the baby will die or be disabled there is no crime but there’s isn’t any point in the woman continuing the pregnancy for another couple of months either. A total disregard of the woman’s life, health and emotional wellbeing seems to be the rule of the anti-legal abortion crowd.
June 27, 2009 at 22:44
So, does that mean you believe a baby born without a brain (ancephaly) can be given up for adoption? They have NO BRAIN!
May 17, 2012 at 01:21
Actually people like Lifeobserver obviously have no brain if they continue to make these emotionally based yet vastly ignorant kinds of statements. A baby born without a brain can be given up for adoption and in a few days I’m sure that baby will begin to putrefy and rot. I don’t think some people get the fact that a baby without a brain is not able to survive outside of the womb and most often not even in the womb for very long.
June 23, 2009 at 17:39
How about to prevent suffering for a baby that’s going to die anyway, if it makes it to birth? Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, triploidy, anencephaly, exencephaly, and fetal cancer are fatal.
June 23, 2009 at 20:24
lifeobserver, how many disabled infants have you adopted? Have you thought about problems that can kill or maim the mother? (Are these included in your graph monado? I could be wrong here I admit.)
Also I do not believe the unborn are people, and you cannot force your beliefs on me.
June 23, 2009 at 22:32
Oddly enough, health of the mother was not mentioned as a cause.
May 26, 2012 at 07:48
You make an interesting point that the mothers health was not mentioned. The reason for that is that after 24 weeks, if the mother’s life is in danger they will induce premature delivery. This actually happened to one of my friends-his mother developed a serious heart problem while pregnant and he was delivered at 24 weeks. He survived and is healthy except for NVLD ( which I also have, that’s how we met). So in that case they just deliver, they’d only abort if it was a fetal problem. The thing about late term abortions is that they are only done when necessary.
May 29, 2012 at 21:24
Congratulations to your friend. This study is from France in the 1990s. Survival rates would have been lower.
June 23, 2009 at 23:13
Also I do not believe the unborn are people, and you cannot force your beliefs on me.
Beliefs are forced on people all the time. They’re called laws.
October 18, 2010 at 08:46
LIfeobserver I agree with you completely. Only an ectopic pregnancy can warrant ending the life. And even then it isn’t torn to pieces, it’s removed as a whole.
June 23, 2009 at 23:13
Also I do not believe the unborn are people, and you cannot force your beliefs on me.
Beliefs are forced on people all the time. They’re called laws
Lol Nice. Exactly.. I wonder if child molestation was legal. If ending newborns was legal. If rape was legal. I can see their arugements now. Where does it end? Apparently not the holocaust or slavery.
October 19, 2010 at 11:34
You don’t get it, do you? Infanticide used to be accepted and practised because we didn’t have abortion. Still worse, we had women dying, maimed, and rendered infertile because they were desperate to end their pregnancies. So spare me the “thin edge of the wedge” argument. It’s not your body–by what right do you presume to tell other people that they must submit to being used as life support? Furthermore, late abortions are ALWAYS medical decisions, simply because late abortion is more dangerous than childbirth. You are neither doctor nor patient, so butt out.
June 27, 2009 at 15:26
Makes one wonder why they don’t put horribly deformed fetuses on billboards. Of course, ever wonder why the kids they prop up on “save the children” infomercials are always lighter skinned and rounder eyed?
June 27, 2009 at 22:49
No, laws constrain actions, not beliefs.
For example, it’s illegal to shoot people who aren’t threatening you because you object to their legal choice of profession.
July 6, 2009 at 04:19
where do laws come from and how are they derived? is it not from a beliefs system that proclaim certain actions/behaviors are “wrong”. but why are they “wrong” then? by what authority? and are “common sense” laws irreversible? for example, should and could “unlawful to murder” ever be overturned? why or why not? why is it illegal to shoot someone in particular or anyone at all?
July 7, 2009 at 08:22
You could try using empathy and logic: who is the victim? Would you like someone to shoot you? No. Do you think that someone might be justified in shooting you if you were trying to kill them? Yes. Is it fair to try to change behavior by terrorism instead of democracy? No. Would you want someone forcing you to take risks that they’re not taking for the benefit of someone else? No. That’s the argument against conscript armies. It is also the argument against forced childbirth. Would you want someone dictating to you what you must not have an abortion? Probably not. That is an argument against anti-abortion laws. That is also the argument against forced abortion, as in China under draconian population control laws.
July 8, 2009 at 00:49
but, why should anyone be empathetic at all? on what basis or grounds do you derive your logic? where do these feelings of being kind and such come from? unjustified killing, being fair, do unto others, etc, is a “moral code” that we all innately have from our consciences b/c we were born to know. I would most definitely want someone, especially qualified, to tell me why I wouldn’t want an abortion. Just the same I would want a professional doctor to tell me the risks of why I would or wouldn’t want back surgery or brain surgery or removing a tumor. yet those surgeries do not involve the termination of another living human.
i think you’re trying to say each situation is different and to an extent, I would agree. You and like minds are trying to imply that 3rd trimester abortions happen only or mostly b/c of some defect that would otherwise have prevented the baby from living outside the mother anyways. But people have aborted for less. much less. and it’s an awful crime and sickening that anyone shouldn’t think twice about an innocent baby being literally cut up and sucked out of their safe haven.
February 8, 2010 at 06:47
whether the unborn is a human being or not is not a matter of belief – it’s pure scientific fact that they are, from the moment the male and female gametes meet. all books on biology are consistent on this. hence it naturally follows that a “termination of pregnancy” is in fact a termination of a human life.
i think those who are for the termination of the life of severely handicapped unborn need to factor this in their arguments.
perhaps it is also worth considering what implication will the justification of ending the lives of the severely handicapped unborn have on those who are already alive.
February 8, 2010 at 08:09
A blueprint is not a house. The fetus may have all the DNA of a human being or they may have too much or it may be scrambled. Anencephaly is a developmental glitch, not a mutation; but it still prevents the individual from living. My point is not that it isn’t human, but it’s not legal person and shouldn’t be.
As long as the fetus depends on the woman for life support, it affects her health and she has a say in its continued existence. She is more than a life-support system. To risk her life to give birth to an infant with no kidneys, no bones that won’t break at the slightest pressure, or no brain—or that is already dead!—may not be an acceptable medical risk for her or for her doctors to recommend.
No one forces you to donate blood or a lobe of your liver, even though that might save the life of an independently living person. These women are not callously shedding an almost-developed baby but saving their own lives and health—which is the accepted medical guideline.
I’ll wager you’ve never been in these women’s situation: so it is not fitting for you to dictate what they should do based on your sentiments about fertilized eggs. The doctors who do late-term abortions do these unpleasant operations to help women who are suffering and in danger. When a medical technique is developed to remove a danger or repair a defect, any abortions that they caused will cease. We are not the ones who suffer and we should not stand in the way of those closest to the situation to decide what is best for themselves.
Here’s a little something to think about: “The Last Abortionist.” Then, please go and look up the results of a strict anti-abortion law in Nicaragua. Is that what you really want?
February 8, 2010 at 08:14
Since you feel strongly that every zygote deserves someone else’s life support, you can volunteer to help this fellow: “I need an angel.” Go to it! Or do you think he should be able to draft someone?
February 8, 2010 at 14:18
The CDC’s reported abortions data for 21-weeks-and-later gestation for Kansas (where Dr. Tiller worked) number only 450. That is a fairly consistent annual number for Kansas.
The corresponding 21-weeks-and-later abortions in the rest of the United States number over 19,000 per annum!
The vast majority are not third trimester, they are late second trimester (21 to 27 weeks) abortions. But like all abortions of infants over 21 weeks gestation, at least half are Viable babies.
February 8, 2010 at 20:36
Are you suggesting that all of Dr. Tiller’s cases came from Kansas? Are you not aware that people came from all over the U.S. because he was one of three who would do them? You can’t just multiply up.
Doctors do not do late-term abortions without a good reason. For one thing, it’s actually more dangerous to the woman. than childbirth, unlike an early abortion, which is many times safer.
February 9, 2010 at 09:49
No, the number of late-term 21-weeks-and -later abortions in Kansas DO include women from all over the U.S., probably very few were Kansas-domiciled women. What I was saying (based on hard CDC reported data (reported by Kansas Dept Health) is that late-term abortions by Dr. Tiller and others in Kansas (just 450/yr) were/are only a small part of the annual late-term abortions performed in almost all other states of the U.S.; California being No 1; New York No 2; etc. The total late-term post 21-weeks abortions of viable infants number 20,000/year.
February 15, 2010 at 23:16
Infants born at 21 weeks’ gestational age are not considered by doctors to be viable. I hope you’re not suggesting that all the abortions post-21-wk are of fetuses that would be viable.
Journal of Perinatology, “Limits of Viability: Definition of the Gray Zone”
Doctors will not do an abortion on fetuses of this gestational age without a sound medical reason. So. another reason not to assume that all were viable is that at that stage, the reason is likely to be that the fetus is deformed or genetically “compromised” or that the life or health of the adult in the equation is in danger. It is not your business to sit there wagging your finger and making assumptions.
May 23, 2010 at 19:04
I did not imply that infants from 21 weeks up are all viable: My blog gives factual statics on survivability, at birth and two years later, from nationwide studies in the UK and from 17 university hospitals’ NICUs in the US, for infants at 22, 23, 24 25, 26 weeks’ gestation lmp.
The fact that at least half of all infants born at 23 to 24 weeks do now survive indicates that viability (i.e. the chance/s of survival are positive), as a legal term, should be redefined.
The source used by monado on the blog Science Notes, “Journal of Perinatology: Limits of Viability – Definition of the Gray Zone: by I Seri & J Evans, 2008” commences with the following in the Introduction: “Survival of preterm neonates has steadily improved over the past five decades. The gestational age at which at least half of the infants survive has decreased from 30 to 31 weeks in the 1960s to 23 to 24 weeks during this decade.”
These are some of the same points I have documented, including cautionary facts concerning later later levels of potential impairment, based on similar national studies’ results. Thus when Roe v Wade was enacted (and the earlier UK Abortion Act) it was universally thought that “viability” of the infant occurred only in the third trimester (well after the 28th week). It is now recognized that viability of the infant is not only possible in the 22nd and 23rd week but chances are better than 50-50 as early as the 24th week, and 100% in the 26th week. Viability has moved from the third trimester to the second half of the second trimester (i.e. 21 to 27 weeks lmp). Those are simply facts (I am not finger-wagging, nor am I making random assumptions).
Reported annual data to the CDC for abortions at 21 weeks and beyond, and data for those states that do not report such data to the CDC (especially California, which performs over 20% of all abortions in the nation), indicate that over 20,000 such late-term (mostly late-second-trimester) abortions are performed by D&E dismemberment procedure each year. It is highly unlikely that the majority of such late-term abortions are performed for reason/s comprising terminal illnesses of the infant or to save the life of the mother. As to the “health of the adult in the equation” being in danger, that reason has been refuted by a former abortion physician in Congressional testimony, and such “diagnoses” are recognized as a legal cover for any late-term abortion performed.
For further discussion on viability see cccf.wordpress.com
April 23, 2010 at 00:41
Bill O’Reilly segment of a 14 year old girl forced by her parents (driven to Kansas from Maryland) to have a late term abortion at George Tiller Abortion Mill in Wichita Kansas
April 23, 2010 at 07:03
That’s very unlikely. For one thing, I believe that the law required another doctor’s recommendation for a late abortion and Dr. Tiller was thoroughly investigated and shown to comply. More important, if a young patient had said that she didn’t want an abortion, Dr. Tiller would refuse to do it. On the other hand, it’s easy to make wild claims on TV, like the woman who said that having a vaccination made her walk funny and talk with a fake Australian accent. She got lots of publicity. Also, how would the products of a surgical abortion end up in a toilet? That does not make sense.
April 23, 2010 at 21:37
How the Abortion Industry Has Come to Control Kansas
…..When Kansas enacted its ban on late term abortion in 1998, the existing science estimated viability in the 20-24 week range, and Kansas codified it at 22 weeks. If anything, science has since improved the life chances of babies born at that stage. Significantly, too, the state’s right to regulate late-term abortions has not diminished since 1998.
In the interest of drafting a bill that could pass Supreme Court muster, Kansas lawmakers conceded to abortion supporters the possibility of valid medical reasons for abortions. In return, however, they demanded that practitioners validate the integrity of the decision to abort in two critical ways.
One was that the physician would file a report with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) that would demonstrate the reason for the abortion and the basis for that determination. This was to be a report, subject to review by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and the state attorney general. Given the life and death issues involved in the determination, no single report in the state of Kansas was to be taken more seriously.
The second was that in the case of an abortion on a viable baby, a second unaffiliated physician would have to confirm the risk to a mother’s life or health.
As written, the new law allowed for a late-term abortion on a viable baby only “to preserve the life of the pregnant women” or to prevent her from suffering “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Although these exemptions are required by Roe v. Wade, pro-life groups accept them because they know, as Kline did, that in no known circumstances does a late-term abortion spare a woman “substantial and irreversible” physical or mental impairment, let alone her life.
Tlller works the system
The new law and the reporting requirement should have put a major dent in the flourishing late-term business of Dr. Tiller and a handful of others, but by this time Tiller had learned to work the system. His first step was to use his influence to finesse a mental health exception. But even the then attorney general, moderate Republican Carla Stovall, insisted that mental health problems had to be “permanent and substantial” to justify a late-term abortion.
Undaunted, Tiller made enough strategic donations to enough politicians to assure that no one enforced the law as written or even as interpreted. In fact, the number of late-term abortions in Kansas actually increased in the three years after the restrictions were passed and began to decrease only after Kline announced for attorney general.
When Kline chose to run in 2001, Tiller sensed trouble and responded accordingly. He invested indirectly in his moderate republican primary opponent, and when Kline prevailed, funneled more money still into the campaign of Kline’s general election opponent, an obscure mid-state Democrat named Chris Biggs. Like an old world mafia don, Tiller understood that he and his business, though tolerated, could not be embraced publicly. Were Biggs to receive campaign cash from Tiller himself or his ProKanDo political action committee (PAC), the GOP would use that information against Biggs. So Tiller and Democratic operatives set up a separate PAC called Kansans for Democratic Leadership (KDL).
KDL existed for a total of 36 days. Except for a $1,000 donation from a labor union, all of KDL’s $265,000 reported income came from ProKanDo or Tiller himself, and none of these transactions were made public until after the
election. Chairing KDL was Tom Sawyer, a Democratic state representative from Wichita and a recipient of Tiller’s largesse. In 2002, no PAC in Kansas spent more than ProKanDo…..
May 22, 2010 at 09:46
Since Kansas investigated Dr. Tiller in repeated fishing expeditions that found no wrongdoing, I’d hardly say that the non-existent “abortion industry” controls Kansas.
Please get it through your thick head that making abortion illegal does not reduce the number of abortions or the amount of sex people have (people, not women: it takes two to tango). All it does is make the abortions that take place more dangerous.
If no one does the abortions that Dr. Tiller did, you can be sure of two results: more women will die and more nonviable infants will die in the womb or shortly after birth. We are talking about babies born without kidneys or other problems incompatible with life. It is cruel to force women to labor and deliver them at danger to themselves, then watch them die.
As things stand now, childbirth is 13 times more likely to kill a woman than legal early abortion. You should get down on your bony little knees and thank every woman who is willing to take the risk to bring forth new life. Instead, you condemn women who are carrying doomed infants and risking their lives for nothing. Get a grip!
I recommend that you start educating yourself by reading, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” by Thomas Frank.
April 24, 2010 at 19:27
THE MOST AMAZING THING IS HOW WRITERS AND EVEN PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES CONTINUE TO CALL LATE-TERM ABORTIONS THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTIONS. THE VAST MAJORITY (OVER 90%) ARE LATE-SECOND-TRIMESTER ABORTIONS IN THE 21 THROUGH 27 WEEKS GESTATION LMP PERIOD. THE METHOD IS D&E (DILATION & EVACUATION, WHICH IS DISMEMBERMENT OF VIABLE INFANTS IN-UTERO). VIABILITY HAS BEEN PROVEN TO BE AT 22 WEEKS FORWARD (SEE EPICURE AND USA MEDICAL STUDIES AT CCCF.WORDPRESS.COM) . DON’T BE DELUDED INTO CALLING THESE ABORTIONS SIMPLY THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTIONS…THAT’S OLD-HAT 1970’S STUFF. DEFINITIONS, AND THE AGE OF VIABILITY, HAVE CHANGED, AND IT IS TIME TO BAN LATE-SECOND TRIMESTER ABORTIONS OF VIABLE BABIES (UNLESS THE LIFE OF THE WOMAN IS IN CRITICAL DANGER) JUST AS THE D&X METHOD (PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION) WAS BANNED. SAME REASON, SAME AGE INFANTS, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT METHODOLOGY. JUST AS GRUESOME, EVEN MORE PAINFUL, FIVE TIMES AS MANY VIABLE INFANTS A YEAR ABORTED THIS WAY (I.E. 20,000 PER YEAR). JUAN O’CALLAHAN
May 21, 2010 at 16:21
que falta de consiencia con las madres que quieren abortar al 2° trimestre matan a seres
May 22, 2010 at 09:38
I think you’re saying “What a lack of conscience in mothers who want to abort in the second trimester–they kill beings.”
July 1, 2010 at 17:33
[…] some reason the link above didn't work. I'll try again. What causes third-trimester abortions? Science Notes I thought this was interesting: * In 40%, an earlier test indicated that a defect existed but […]
January 1, 2011 at 11:24
[…] parents not able to believe the news, having hysterics and going home, and praying for a miracle. What causes third-trimester abortions? Science Notes The idea that any woman is having a third trimester abortion on a whim is bullshit. Third […]
February 11, 2012 at 10:11
Wow. Aren’t we desperate to see this issue in black and white?
Can we agree on perhaps a few things to narrow down the differences. For example, could we all agree that aborting a fetus that has no brain and will never have one is OK?
February 12, 2012 at 20:44
THE PROBLEM ABOUT THE SANCTITY OF LIFE IS NOT JUST THIRD TRIMESTER ABORTIONS (FOR MOSTLY VALID MEDICAL REASONS AS POINTED OUT…AND THEY ARE VERY FEW), BUT THE SECOND-HALF OF THE SECOND TRIMESTER ABORTIONS. THESE SECOND HALF OF THE SECOND TRIMESTER ABORTIONS, THAT NUMBER OVER 20,000 PER YEAR, AND DONE FOR NON-MEDICAL PURELY ELECTIVE REASONS (SEE GUTTMACHER STUDIES AND SURVEYS AND OTHER DOCUMENTED STUDIES) OF BABIES IN THE 22ND THROUGH 27TH WEEK GESTATION WHEN THEY ARE POTENTIALLY VIABLE AT 22, 23 AND 24 WEEKS (WITH MECHANICAL VENTILATION AT NICUS IN THE U.S.) AND CERTAINLY VIABLE AT 25, 26, 27 WEEKS GESTATION. THIS SHEER ERADICATION BY THE DISMEMBERMENT METHOD OF D&E ABORTION OF VIABLE, SURVIVABLE BABIES IN AMERICA IS THE CAUSE OF THE EROSION OF OUR CULTURE. (THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ‘BABIES’ ‘WITH NO BRAIN’….THIS HORRIFIC SITUATION HAS TO DO WITH HEALTHY VIABLE BABIES, STRIPPED OF THEIR LIMBS AND TORSOS, FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN CONVENIENCE.
February 13, 2012 at 23:48
I think that you overestimate the percentage of potentially viable fetuses. However, you miss a few essential points.
1. The best way to stop abortions is to educate women, to provide sex education to children, and to make sure that they have contraceptives available from an early age and to backstop contraception with early, safe, and available abortion. What have you done lately to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Are you letting your school know that you want real sex education taught to both boys and girls? Not the proven-ineffective abstinence? Telling your politicians? Funding Planned Parenthood?
2. The best way to stop late abortions is to remove the barriers against abortion. Women who are unwillingly pregnant want an abortion YESTERDAY. What have you done to ensure that women who want abortions can get them in their home town, legally and affordably, with no waiting period, without having to inform their parents (girls have been murdered because of that one). Do you drive for them? Bring them in from rural areas? Billet them? Put your god-damned money where your mouth is.
3. It’s not your body, it’s hers. The man next to me on the subway doesn’t have the right to use my body against my will to save his life. If you really want to prevent late abortions, see steps one and two. Then go do something for the children who are out and breathing. If you’re going to talk about “convenience,” adopt a few “inconvenient” children. Insist that child rapists be punished, not their victims. There’s plenty to do that doesn’t require you salivating over how some women are getting away with sex without being forced to have babies.
February 15, 2012 at 16:36
Not estimates; Facts. U.S. Nat’l Research Network Study/NICH at 17 university hospitals NICUs, 4,500 births’ viability results: 22 weeks lmp 21%: 23 weeks lmp 37%; 24 weeks lmp 56%; 25 weeks lmp 78%; 26 weeks lmp 98%. Separate UK 2006 Epicure Study (all of England) results similar but somewhat lower due to inclusion of all hospitals (many without NICUs). Other U.S. studies show same results, viz. viability begins at 22 weeks with 1 in 5 extreme premature babies living beyond 2 years without defects or impairment.
We are not talking about third trimester abortions. All the above are late-term second trimester: Facts. Annual abortions’ numbers (rounded) in the U.S. are as follows: First Trimester (1-13 weeks) = 1,144,000. Second Trimester/first half (14-20 weeks) = 135,000. Second Trimester/second half (21-27 weeks) = 20,000. Third Trimester (28-40 weeks) = 650.
The method of aborting babies in the second half of the second trimester, due to the child’s advanced maturity, is to use the “classic” D&E (dilation & evacuation) medical procedure which involves dismembering the child’s limbs in the uterus, crushing her torso and head, and evacuating all fetal parts by suction vacuum and scraping. D&X (partial birth abortion) was/is an alternate method of terminating same aged babies (i.e. late-term second trimester) for elective reasons (see copious Congressional testimony) and was banned by federal law and upheld by Supreme Court. Public opinion was opposed to D&X PBA by over 70%. There is no difference in the abhorrence of D&X and D&E procedures on potentially viable and certainly viable infants.
Re the proposed “solution” to eliminate all late-term second trimester abortions by having them performed earlier, that is just not going to happen. There will always be a certain percentage of women (today its 20,000 a year) who elect to wait until the 21st week or later to have their baby aborted (they surely do not realize the child is potentially viable); but the reasons are not medical. Guttmacher lists the reasons – they involve finances, worry, change of heart, pressure from partner and the like – not reasons for killing human beings.
February 16, 2012 at 10:58
This study was of third-trimester abortions. But viability is *irrelevant*. None of that addresses my three points nor answers my questions to you:
1. What are you doing to help women control their own lives and fertility?
2. What are you doing to ensure that women who want early abortions can get them quickly?
3. Why don’t you mind your own business since a woman’s body should be hers to control?
February 20, 2012 at 10:19
“Why don’t you mind your own business” is an incongruous retort, so immature. D&E Late-Term Abortion for elective reasons is everyone’s business.
It is true that Viability SHOULD be irrelevant – NO conceived child should be terminated for elective reasons – but viability marks a timeline measure that can be readily understood: Just as you would not brutally kill a child that is born, living, and viable, one should not deliberately kill a child by D&E dismemberment that is not far from being born, would live, and is viable.
Your 3 personal questions Sir are unnecessarily petty , but re q.1, – I have promoted the Couple To Couple League (CCL) that certainly helps women control their fertility, and to some extent their lives: re q.2, – I do need to do more to help women determine that they do not need to have an abortion, early or otherwise: re q.3, – yes a woman’s body is hers to control; and when she is given the additional body of a living child within her womb, she should love the given child and bear her.
May 11, 2012 at 02:15
The pro-life argument in this case is contradictory. They state that the unborn fetus is a life. Given the definition of ‘life’ (b : a state of living characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction) , in these cases the unborn fetus does not meet the requirement’s for being called a ‘life’.
Also, the argument above about a fetus being a person when it can be determined to be male of female is absurd. That is around 18 week’s. If, at this stage, it is a person, then explain why it would not be able to survive outside of the womb?
Furthermore, by definition a fetus is a parasite.
1. Biology An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
August 15, 2012 at 02:30
I don’t like abortion. But, I completely believe in a woman’s right to her body, her right to live on her own terms. It should be a choice. Women should be informed, provided with education and birth control, and not submitted to assumptions about her feelings or actions.
December 22, 2014 at 16:11
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January 18, 2019 at 22:18
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August 29, 2020 at 19:01
[…] fact, only 5% of third trimester abortions occur because of delay, even delay with a valid reason. 95% of third trimester abortions occur because of a defect in the fetus that would be life-threateni…, a defect that couldn’t be diagnosed until this late stage of pregnancy. So the overwhelming […]