08 Aug Myth Buster Monday: Are late term abortions rare?
“There are very few late terms abortions performed – only for medical reasons such as danger to the mother or unhealthy fetus,” claim those who promote abortion. “Not only are they rare, there aren’t many abortion providers available to perform them,” continues the misinformation meme.
According to a May 2010 briefing by the Guttmacher Institute (former research affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America) 1.5% of the estimated more than 1.2 million elective abortions done annually in the U.S. are on unborn children at 21 weeks or older.
Do the math. That is about 18,000 abortion performed with the vast majority of the 18,000 being done after the best evidence supports that an unborn child is capable of feeling pain (at about 22 weeks). The Centers for Disease Control Abortion Surveillance Report (released in November of 2009) confirms the above numbers. Does 18,000 late-term abortions seem like a small number to you?
Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, let the cat out of the bag back in 1997 when he acknowledge that the vast majority of partial-birth abortions were performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2009) acknowledges that the vast majority of later-abortions are performed because of a delay in diagnosis of pregnancy. While Guttmacher Institute admits in their journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (2005) that late-term abortions are done for the same reasons as earlier abortion: education or financial concerns, relationship problems, or feelings of being too old or too young to have a child.
Lastly, exactly how many late-term abortionists are there?
In a voluntary survey released in 2008, Guttmacher Institute acknowledged that there are at least 1,787 abortion providers in the U.S. Since this survey was voluntary and abortionists are usually reluctant to admit they participate in the abhorrent practice, the number is probably much higher.
Guttmacher tells us that 20 percent of that number (about 300 abortionists) are willing to end an unborn child’s life after 20 weeks and eight percent of those number (about 140) are willing to abort a child after 24 weeks. That’s a lot of abortionists for a practice that is unwarranted and has no place in a compassionate, life-affirming society.
Although serious threats to health can occur, there is always a life affirming way to care for mother and baby, no matter how bleak the prognosis. The elimination of late-term abortion would not create a void in medical care, but would instead result in a more humane world in which vulnerable humans would be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. – Mary Davenport, M.D., FACOG
For a comprehensive discussion of high-risk pregnancy, fetal abnormalities, and the facts regarding the unnecessary nature of late-term abortion go here.