Another bizarre claim by Planned Parenthood parroted by the Associated Press: There’s no such thing as a “late-term abortion” 

By Dave Andrusko

Back in mid-October, we posted a story that continues to make me shake my head in disbelief. Planned Parenthood (who else?) posted a story the title of which was ‘There’s no such thing as a “late-term abortion.’”

Guess what? Yesterday the folks at AP Stylebook told us in a tweet that they concurred:

Do not use the term “late-term abortion.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines late term as 41 weeks through 41 weeks and 6 days of gestation, and abortion does not happen in this period.

We tackled this misnomer at the time “Holly” at Planned Parenthood lectured us that the describer “late-term abortion” is

[A]ctually a completely made-up phrase that has no basis in medicine. It’s pure anti-abortion propaganda, intended to confuse people about when abortion happens.

Maybe we should genuflect. Who could possibly argue? After all, who knows more about snuffing out unborn children than Planned Parenthood? So when “Holly” tells us “There’s no such thing as a ‘late-term abortion,’” we can confidently nod our head in agreement, right? 

Actually, no, we can’t. Let’s talk about her evidence and what Holly ignores.

Alright, let’s work backwards, starting with her last paragraph:

Bottom line: “Late-term abortion” isn’t a thing, except in the imaginations of anti-abortion rights activists. Abortion is health care, and health care is personal. People deserve to be in charge of their own medical decisions throughout their pregnancy. Lawmakers who care more about control than health or personal freedom don’t deserve to make those decisions for you or anybody else.

Her “proof”? 

A pregnancy is “full term” from 39-40 weeks, and “late term” at 41 weeks. Those are medical terms used by doctors.

I guess that settles it. There really isn’t such a thing as a late-term abortion, right? Why? Because full term is “39-40 weeks” and late-term is “41 weeks” and nobody aborts at 41 weeks. And, oh by the way, abortion is “health care.”

So an abortion at 38 weeks is…what? I’m guessing few outside the Abortion Industry would disagree that this qualifies as a ‘late-term abortion.” Pro-abortionists, of course, immediately conjure up excuse after excuse (as does Holly) as if the reasons for the abortion negate the fact that this is a huge, full-developed baby. 

Another inconvenient truth is that, by this juncture (and much earlier), babies can feel unimaginable pain as they are torn apart

Keep in mind that it is, as NRL Director of Education & Research Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon observed, “extremely telling that Holly, the author, never really discusses exactly what babies are like and can do at any of these stages.”

It’s also sort of awkward to try and claim that there are no such things as “late-term abortions” and then defend the industry’s performance of them, sort of “We don’t do them, there’s nothing wrong with them, but when we do them, it’s YOUR fault!”

Holly dismisses abortions performed at 15 weeks, the Mississippi law that was reviewed in Dobbs. That’s not “late term.” Just another pro-life “lie.” 


Jordan Boyd of The Federalist wrote “12 Facts Everyone Should Know About Babies At 15 Weeks Of Gestation.”

 “All Major Organs Are Formed and Functional.” Boyd quotes Dr. Katrina Furth who explained “almost every organ and tissue forms within the first eight weeks after conception.”Dr. Furth added, “The rest of the pregnancy is spent growing these organs larger and more mature to prepare for life outside the womb.”

In her short post, Holly doesn’t bring up the canard that late-term abortions are “rare.” Why would she because “Late-term abortion’ isn’t a thing, except in the imaginations of anti-abortion rights activists.” But for the record, Cassy Fiano-Chesser explains how un-rare they are:

According to the CDC’s 2019 Abortion Surveillance Report, the most recent year for which data is available, 1.1% of all abortions were committed after 21 weeks of pregnancy. If you include the second trimester, or after 14 weeks of pregnancy, the number rises to 8% of all abortions.

While 1.1% or even 8% might seem like small numbers, they aren’t. The CDC reports 398,505 abortions committed in 2019. 1.1% of that number equals 4,383 abortions committed after 21 weeks of pregnancy; 8% equals 31,880. Of course, states are not required to report their data to the CDC — and numerous states, like California and Maryland, do not. Others, like New Jersey, did not have reporting requirements in place, causing the CDC warn that its data may not be accurate. Essentially, this means the true number of abortions — regardless of gestational age — is almost certainly higher. Using the Guttmacher Institute’s numbers (which are collected directly from abortion providers), 930,160 abortions were committed in 2020. If the CDC’s percentages hold true with 1.1% of abortions occurring after 21 weeks, that equates to an estimate of more than 10,000 human lives per yearand 8% occurring after 14 weeks equates to an estimate of more than 74,000 human lives per year.

You get the drift, even if the Associate Press doesn’t. Late-term abortions do take place and they are by no means rare.