By Sarah Terzo
In an article, in the Irish Independent, Dr. Susan Robinson, who does abortions in the third trimester, comments on how in the state of New Mexico (where she works) there are no legal limits on how late in pregnancy abortions can be done. She can commit abortions all the way up until birth.
“So there is nothing legal to stop me from doing any abortion that I think is appropriate.”
The article describes how Robinson uses ultrasound to date the ages of babies in the third trimester. However, this is unreliable:
“For pregnancies above 30 weeks Robinson relies on an ultrasound to check the age of the fetus but admits that this notoriously inaccurate method, combined with the often hazy conception dates provided by the women, can produce a window of error of plus or minus three weeks.”
Robinson gives an example:
“Let’s say the woman is at 31 weeks, well, given the inaccuracy of the ultrasound she could perfectly be 34 weeks. How would I feel if that happened?”
She gives an example where this happened:
“Robinson still recalls the shock she felt when she terminated the pregnancy of a fetus she thought was approximately 32 weeks. But when she saw the aborted body she realised that it was more like 37 weeks. She was devastated. ‘It was quite a moment,’ she remembers.”
Caitriona Palmer, “‘There is no limit on when we can carry out abortions‘ Irish Independent, December 5, 2016.
Although the author of the article claims Robinson was shocked at seeing the 37 week old (full term) baby, there is not much difference between a 32 week baby and a 37 week one. Both are well beyond viability– the age when a baby can survive outside her mother’s womb.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.