By Dave Andrusko
Each time we read a story about late [or “later”] abortions–often without an explanation of what that means–it is presented as a rare condition undertaken in only the gravest of circumstances. Since numerically they are “rare,” that is supposed to persuade us that because late-term abortions make up such a small percentage of the total number, we should accept on faith that they are undertaken only for the most serious of reasons.
But if you want proof positive that this is not the truth, read the interview the King of Late-term abortions Warren Hern gave to The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey. He told her that in at least half of the late term abortions he performed, the babies these women were carrying did not have devastating diagnoses.
How about a 2013 review in the pro-abortion Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health that found “that most abortions done between Weeks 20 and 28 are not ‘for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment,’” according to Ramesh Ponnuru.
Speaking of rare, rare is in the eye of the beholder. The CDC estimated that 0.9% of all abortions in the United States occur after 21 weeks. If we use the more comprehensive abortion totals from Guttmacher, it estimated 930,160 abortions were performed in 2020. If we apply the CDC’s 0.9% to Guttmacher 930,160 abortion, we arrive at 8,371. Certainly, more than 8,000 of anything would not be considered “rare.”
Which brings us to “A Safe Haven for Late Abortions,” written by Margaret Talbot for the New Yorker. What makes it different is found in the subhead: “Photos from a late-stage abortion.”
I’m going to offer four quotes and four comments.
First, these photos do not include the baby—or what’s left of the baby. The word “baby” appears nowhere.
The following is a caption underneath the second photo that appeared in the New Yorker. They are talking about “Partners in Abortion Care,” in College Park, Maryland.
A woman waits for the third and final day of her late-abortion process. Diane Horvath, an ob-gyn who co-founded the clinic, says that later abortions require more time because “the cervix has to open further and be softer.” She adds, “Beyond twenty-six weeks, patients have an induction abortion, which is a little more like going into labor.”
Notice that these “late-abortions” take three days! And that after 26 weeks, it’s a “little more like going into labor.” It is very much like going into labor, only you deliver a dead baby.
Second, Talbot quotes Morgan Nuzzo, a nurse-midwife, and Horvath’s friend and colleague:
“Even within our own community” of reproductive-medicine practitioners, Nuzzo said, “later abortion is still kind of stigmatized.” (Exact numbers are hard to come by, but only about a dozen clinics in the country provide abortions after twenty-four weeks; Partners in Abortion Care offers them up to thirty-four weeks.)
Thirty-four weeks! Best guess is that there were under a half-dozen abortionists nation-wide who traffic in the kind of “care” offered by “Partners in Abortion Care” (which “is still kind of stigmatized”). If they have their way, that number will grow and grow.
On a patient’s first day of care, a bandage is applied after an injection has been given to stop the fetal heartbeat. “We induce demise,” Horvath, the ob-gyn, says. “This idea that people are delivering live fetuses—it just does not happen.”
They saw their first patient that October, and by the end of 2023 they had treated nearly five hundred.
“Treated”? “Patient”? “Delivering live fetuses.” “Nearly five hundred”?!
One other quote:
Charlotte Moore, a patient-care technician, and Benedict Landgren, an ob-gyn, perform a uterine aspiration, in which suction is used to remove the fetus, placenta, or other membrane tissue. Landgren, who lives in Colorado, travels to Maryland every month or two to work at Partners in Abortion Care. “There are more clinicians than people think who are willing and able to do late-abortion care,” Landgren says. “The big barrier is that there aren’t enough clinics.”
What is stopping a proliferation of clinics offering “late-term abortions”? Stigma plus queasiness surrounding what is a brutal, horrible human rights abuse.
It’s a gruesome read, but necessary. You’ll find it here.