By Micaiah Bilger
Many women abort their unborn babies in the third trimester for the same reasons women have abortions earlier in pregnancy, according to a new study.
Live Action News reports the study from ANSIRH, a pro-abortion research group at the University of California, contradicts the popular claim that most late-term abortions happen because of serious health problems with the mother or her unborn baby.
“The reasons people need third-trimester abortions are not so different from why people need abortions before the third trimester…” the researchers wrote. “[T]he circumstances that lead to someone needing a third-trimester abortion have overlaps with the pathways to abortion at other gestations.”
According to the study, women have third-trimester abortions for a number of reasons, including difficulty obtaining an abortion, the inability to afford an abortion earlier, failure to realize she was pregnant earlier, and medical problems with the unborn baby. None of the abortions in the study were because of medical problems with the mother, according to the report.
One woman told researchers that she had a third-trimester abortion after her ex-boyfriend got a bonus at work; she had not been able to afford one earlier, Live Action reports.
Here’s more from the report:
Another woman was homeless. The abortion facility took her money, killed her baby, sent her back into her situation, leaving her to fend for herself. In contrast, a pregnancy resource center would have walked with her and given her real help. …
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The study mentioned four cases in which the baby had a disability. If these were the only cases, that would mean abortions for this reason were 14.3% of the total – far fewer than most people think.
There are few statistics about the number of late-term abortions on viable unborn babies in the U.S. every year, but estimates put the number in the thousands. Unborn babies are viable at about 22 weeks of pregnancy now, thanks to modern medicine.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, 1.3 percent of abortions in 2012 were done at 21 weeks of pregnancy or later. Considering there are about 900,000 abortions a year currently in the U.S., a rough estimate would put the number at approximately 11,700 late-term abortions annually.
Abortion activists often downplay late-term abortions, describing them as rare and claiming they only occur when there are serious medical problems with the mother or baby. The reason is that polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans oppose late-term abortions once the baby is viable.
However, the claims are falling apart as more studies, abortion workers and women admit the truth.
Late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, who is credited with inventing the partial-birth abortion procedure, said in a 1993 interview with American Medical News: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20 percent are for genetic reasons. And the other 80 percent are purely elective.”
Ron Fitzsimmons, the former executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, made a startling admission about late-term abortions as well in 1997. He told the New York Times that he had lied to U.S. Congress when he said late-term abortions are rare. Fitzsimmons said late-term abortions are more common than abortion activists admit, and many are on healthy mothers carrying healthy unborn babies.
Then, in 2013, Diana Greene Foster, a well-known pro-abortion researcher at the University of California San Francisco, wrote similarly that “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment. Indeed, we know very little about women who seek later abortions.”
More recently, articles the Associated Press and New York Magazine have featured stories about women getting elective late-term abortions at 26 weeks and 28 weeks, respectively; both mothers were healthy and carrying healthy babies.
Former abortion workers like pro-life leader Abby Johnson have shared evidence of this, too. Johnson wrote in 2016 at the Independent Journal Review:
These [late-term] abortions can be performed for the “life or health” of the mother. What this means is that a late-term abortion can be provided for any reason, as long as the abortionist checks a box on her chart stating it was affecting her “life or health.” No documentation of proof is required.
According to several former late term abortion clinic workers who have come through my organization And Then There Were None, approximately 50% of 3rd trimester abortions are performed on healthy babies. In my own personal experience, we often referred women to late-term abortion providers who were pregnant with healthy babies, but they wanted the abortion because they had either just broken up with the baby’s father, lost their job, or something similar.
Most countries across the world protect unborn babies from abortion after the first trimester. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth.