Issues

Yes, there is such a thing as abortion in the ninth month

After the end of the final presidential debate this week, social media and news outlets clamored to present their sides on late-term abortion. Many claimed, “There’s no such thing as an abortion in the ninth month!” Others asked if women could, as Trump asserted, obtain an abortion just days before a baby might be born naturally. Unfortunately, the naysayers are wrong. Third trimester abortion is alive and well in the United States, ensuring that thousands of viable babies are killed every year.

While many states have laws restricting abortion past a certain point (often 20 weeks), there are still plenty of places to kill a baby at the last minute — and abortionists willing to make it happen for the right price. Operation Rescue recently reported on abortionists coast-to-coast who are willing to perform these late term procedures.

Third Trimester induction diagram 6 panel

Finding them requires little more than a Google search. Colorado abortionist Warren Hern, who will abort a baby in the ninth month, isn’t shy about what he offers. His website discusses third trimester abortions, claiming women who obtain them “are almost always seeking services for termination of a desired pregnancy that has developed serious complications.”

According to other late-term abortionists, like Susan Robinson, this is not true. Even infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, now deceased, admitted that less than 10 percent of the abortions he performed late in pregnancy were for fetal anomaly.

Hern knows late-term abortion is dangerous for women, noting on his website, “At this point, termination of pregnancy is considered a far more dangerous procedure and carries with it serious risks of complication.” But the dangers don’t deter him. He’s willing to abort viable babies, and he offers the arrangement of burial or religious services to parents who see their children as real “babies.” On his website, we also see the pro-abortion mentality that those who are not developmentally perfect won’t have lives worth living. The fetal anomaly section says:

One of the most tragic things that can happen to a woman and her loved ones, especially if it is her first baby, is to discover late in a desired pregnancy that something has gone terribly wrong…. In spite of everything, nothing can be done to give the baby a chance for a normal life — perhaps not even a chance for life itself.

There are generally two kinds of problems with pregnancies like this. One kind involves the observation or discovery of a genetic disorder that predictably would lead to very serious problems for a young child… like Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 and 13….

Lily in a screenshot from her TJ Maxx ad.

Down syndrome is presented as a problem so awful no parent or child should have to endure it. Clearly, many disagree. Ryan and Jillian, both of whom have Down syndrome and just got married this year, might have a few words to say to Dr. Hern. So might Lily, the star of a TJ Maxx commercial. And then there’s Carter, conceived in rape, whose mom found out she was pregnant when she went in for a hysterectomy for uterine cancer. She refused to abort, despite the double odds against Carter — who might have some things to say to Dr. Hern as well.

From FacebookLive Action President Lila Rose said of the late-term abortion controversy:

Contrary to the claims of the abortion industry and its allies, the evidence shows that most late-term abortions aren’t done for any claimed ‘medical’ reasons.

Even research published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute found that abortions for fetal abnormalities ‘make up a small minority’ of late-term abortions, and those that are purported to be done to save the mother’s life are an even smaller number.

More than 1,000 medical professionals have concluded that abortion is never medically necessary to save a mother’s life. While life-saving treatment for a mother may result in the death of her preborn child, there’s a fundamental difference between a woman receiving medical treatment for her condition versus choosing an abortion to directly kill her preborn child.

What likely comes as a surprise to most Americans is that partial-birth abortions have been banned in name only. The federal law banning partial-birth abortions still allows for the abortionist to partially deliver a child — with her legs dangling outside of her mother or most of her head being delivered — before he kills her. Anyone can clearly see that the child is only seconds away from being born and having legal protections if it weren’t for the abortionist waiting to kill her as she moves through the birth canal.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, addressed late-term abortion on her Facebook page:

According to several former late term abortion clinic workers who have come through ATTWN, approximately 50% of 3rd trimester abortions are performed on healthy babies. In my own personal experience, we often referred women to late term providers who were pregnant with healthy babies… they wanted the abortion because they had just broken up with the baby’s father, or because they lost their job or something similar.

Some women have gone on record with their stories of late-term abortions. This summer, Elizabeth told Jezebel her story of Dr. Hern aborting her 32-week-old baby. After being told of abnormalities that showed up later in her pregnancy, Elizabeth and her husband decided to have a late-term abortion:

What I came to accept was the fact that I would never get to be this little guy’s mother—that if we came to term, he would likely live a very short time until he choked and died, if he even made it that far. This was a no-go for me. I couldn’t put him through that suffering when we had the option to minimize his pain as much as possible.

What isn’t clear is why she believes a viable baby would not suffer from being aborted. But she got some reassurance from Dr. Hern that her baby’s pain was just “reflexes”:

So they took me into the room, and there were two nurses in there with Dr. Hern…. I asked him if he thought the baby would feel the shot, and he said no. I mentioned an article I’d read about tests where they prick a baby in utero, and the baby jumps. I asked him, “Doesn’t that mean that the baby can feel pain?”

He said, “No. If you prick a frog, it jumps because it has reflexes. A fetus does have reflexes, but doesn’t mean that they can feel and contemplate pain.” He told me that whatever that fetus feels is not like the pain they would feel on the outside.

“That’s real pain,” he said. “And whatever he might feel, it doesn’t touch the pain you are feeling as a grown, thinking, feeling woman.”

No explanation from Hern on how a 32-weeker in utero wouldn’t feel pain, while a born one of the same age would.

Elizabeth describes the shot used to kill the baby by stopping his heartbeat, a process which she says took about an hour-and-a-half, followed by a drug to stop her from going into labor so she could fly back to New York and deliver. “It was a delivery,” she says. “I felt every body part coming out. I felt the whole thing.”

Hern’s Colorado facility was also the setting for Kate’s 36-week abortion. Kate told her story to OBs and medical students, stating that there were possible problems with her baby, some potentially severe. While there was no clear diagnosis, her neurologist said the baby might be so uncomfortable she could not even sleep. Kate flew to Dr. Hern’s facility for an abortion. She describes a story similar to Elizabeth’s. There was an injection to stop her daughter’s heartbeat, but Kate delivered at the facility. She describes the labor process and Hern telling her to stop pushing. “And my baby slipped through my pelvis and into the skilled and careful arms of my grumpy savior,” she says.

Most would not choose the term “savior” for a man who puts viable babies to death. Yet, his actions are legal in Colorado where he practices.

Abortionists like those listed in Operation Rescue’s piece make a living from aborting viable babies, some in the ninth month. Live Action notes, “While some states have restrictions, all states allow abortion into the ninth month for certain exceptions, and seven states and the District of Columbia allow abortion until birth for any reason (Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.).”

Out of about one million aborted babies a year, an estimated 13,000 are late-term — viable babies who could have survived outside the womb. As Live Action News reports, many babies are viable even before the third trimester:

A May 2015 medical study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that roughly 25% of babies born at 22 weeks gestation would survive if “actively treated in a hospital.” Even without extra treatment, a small number of these babies survive. A September 2015 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that survival rates for babies at 23 weeks gestation has improved to 33%; at 24 weeks, the survival rate is 65%.

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