Abortion (Opposing Viewpoints Series)
, by James D. Torr
"Long-standing series about controversial contemporary issues continue(s) to turn out exceptional titles. Greenhaven's Opposing Viewpoints presents multiple perspectives on hot topics such as abortion, the death penalty, and censorship through excerpts from primary materials ranging from speeches to cartoons." -- Booklist
Count Us In - Growing Up with Down Syndrome
, by Jason Kingsley, Mitchell Levitz
From School Library Journal: Written by two young men with Down's Syndrome, this book will open eyes and touch the heart. The interview style is involving as the authors discuss their friendship, having Down's Syndrome, marriage, children, becoming independent, and their hopes and dreams for the future. They speak openly about how people have treated them differently because of their disorder and how they feel about it.
The book is occasionally a challenge to read since the authors speak in unusual syntax. Black-and-white photographs from family albums appear in a center insert. Curious teens and friends and family members of the disabled will feel the emotions of these two remarkable young men and learn how they work to cope and to succeed. --Jacqueline Craig, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA - Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Real Abortion Stories: The Hurting and The Healing
, by Barbara Horak
Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been more than 45 million abortions performed in the United States. Many post-abortive women suffer from some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These women, emotionally battered by their symptoms, are often hesitant to talk openly about their ordeal.
Real Abortion Stories: The Hurting and The Healing, contains the powerful first-person stories of fourteen women and one man. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who tells her story in this book, says, These deeply personal stories demonstrate that healing is possible from the traumatic aftermath of abortion.
The Miraculous World of Your Unborn Baby: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your Pregnancy
, by Nikki Bradford
Your baby is yet to be born . . . but she's listening, learning, and aware of the outside world!
Traditionally, the world of an as-yet-unborn baby was thought to be an isolated and silent one. It was assumed that, asleep and growing in its mother's womb, the developing baby was incapable of experiencing sight, sound, thought, or emotion. In fact, the truth is very different, as bestselling author Nikki Bradford reveals here. Drawing on the latest research by leading authorities in the field, the author explains how the unborn baby's awareness of the outside world develops rapidly from very early in pregnancy.
Did you know that unborn babies respond to sound, and duck away from strong light, as early as 16 weeks? That they have been observed shying away from--and even attacking--an amniocentesis needle at around the same time? That babies follow moving light sources with their hands by 20 weeks? Or that they recognize music and nursery rhymes from 33 weeks?
|Page updated: November 30, 2015
|Late-Term Abortion Information and Procedures
Late-term abortion is a subject of political, moral, ethical, and religious controversy. Opposition to the practice of late-term abortion has gone so far as to spark hatred that has resulted in murders of abortion-performing doctors. Questions to consider involving late-term abortion include:
Why do women have late-term abortions?
What are the specific procedures involved with late-term abortion?
What are the risks involved with late-term abortion and how serious are they?
Beyond the debate involved with the right-to-life movement, how does having a late-term abortion affect emotions of women or teens?
Understanding what late-term abortion is, how it is performed, what the medical risks are, and how having a late-term abortion might affect a woman psychologically are vital questions for any woman or teen considering this procedure.
Late-term Abortion Definition
: A late-term abortion is an abortion that is performed after the second trimester, and generally considered to be when the woman is past 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some consider late-term abortions to be after 24 weeks of pregnancy (generally around five or six months).
Late-Term Abortion Facts
Approximately 1.1 million total abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2011 (Planned Parenthood).
About 30% of women in the United States have had an abortion at some point in their lives (Guttmacher. 2008).
Approximately 21% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) are aborted in the United States (Guttmacher. 2014).
Approximately 66% of abortions are performed during the first eight weeks of pregnancy (Planned Parenthood).
Approximately 10% or one in ten abortions performed are later-term, after the first trimester (Terkel).
Risk of the mother's death for abortions between 16 and 20 weeks is one in 29,000 (Guttmacher. 2014)
Risk of death at 21 weeks and beyond is one in 11,000 (Guttmacher. 2014).
Only 1.2% of abortions are performed 20 weeks or later (about 13,200 in the U.S. in 2011) (Planned Parenthood).
Psychological or emotional damage to the woman or teen is more common and can be more intense with late-term abortion than with abortions (Coleman, Coyle, Rue. 2014).
Approximately 10-percent of women have an abortion after the first three months of pregnancy, what most consider to be later-term
. The majority of authoritative resources put late-term at four months of pregnancy and only approximately one-percent of abortions, or 1.2% more precisely, are performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"Many physicians," states Susan Terkel in the book Abortion - Facing the Issues
, "are reluctant to perform abortions after the twentieth week because of the fear that they might end up performing an abortion on a viable fetus." Sociologist Jonathan Imber concurs, documenting the fact that many physicians are hesitant to conduct abortions past the first trimester because the fetus is markedly similar to the babies that they also deliver (Imber. 1986).
An abortion is considered to be late-term between 20 or 27 weeks, depending on the medical source referred to. Late-term abortion is generally considered to be the time period during pregnancy in which the fetus can likely survive if delivered.
Fewer than one out of ten women have an abortion after the first trimester
A Dilation and Evacuation D&E abortion
is usually performed in the second trimester of pregnancy, between 12 and 20 weeks (later-term abortion, as opposed to late-term abortion).
Two primary methods of performing late-term abortion are:
1. Induced Labor or Medical Induction (Medical Instillation)
2. Dilation and Extraction (also referred to as partial-birth abortion)
Dilation and Evacuation - D&E Method between 12 and 20 weeks
The most common type of abortion is Dilation and Evacuation or the D&E method of abortion is by a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C), as well as involving the use of surgical instruments. The fetus is too large to pass through the cannula after the first trimester, and therefore must be "dismembered" first using instruments.
Performing a D & E can be stressful to professionals who perform such abortions, while some physicians, despite supporting a woman's choice to have an abortion, will not perform this procedure (Terkel). Dilation and Evacuation can be performed on an outpatient basis, and takes approximately a half-hour to perform. It is usually performed in the second trimester.
(Intact) Dilation and Extraction Method of Late-term Abortion – D&X
(also referred to as "partial-birth" abortion) - After 21 weeks
The dilation and extraction method of late-term abortion is a focal point in legislation efforts by anti-abortion advocates.
The M Health News accurately describes the Dilation and Extraction method as follows:
Intact dilation and extraction involves removing the fetus feet-first except for the head. Physicians then use suction to collapse the head, usually after injecting the fetus with a drug to kill it before beginning the procedure.
Sometimes, an abortion that begins as a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) runs into complications and a Dilation and Extraction (D&X) is then performed.
Medical Induction or Instillation – Induced Labor
Between 19 and 20 weeks
A second method of abortion performed after the sixteenth week of pregnancy, usually at 19 to 20 weeks, is referred to as "medical induction" or "instillation." This method employs drugs to force an early labor (induced labor), and can only be performed at the sixteenth week of pregnancy or later because the amniotic sac which surrounds the fetus is too small to accurately locate. Medically induced abortions have gradually declined and are performed in less than one percent of abortions in the U.S.
With medical induction, a chemical solution—such as saline solution (salt water), urea, and potassium chloride—is injected into the amniotic sac in the womb. Prostaglandins are then inserted through the vagina, while pitocin is injected intravenously. This causes the woman to go into premature labor. She then expels the fetus and placenta. With the medical induction or instillation method, labor can be prolonged, lasting hours or even days. It can be painful and also emotionally draining.
Dr. Katharine O'Connell from New York's Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital is a member of the pro-choice group of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. She explains that this method of later-term abortion "puts the woman under particular stress", and that labor can take as many as two to three days.
Many women having an abortion in the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy have experienced the feeling of the fetus moving in the womb or have seen sonograms to that effect. This can be one reason that abortion, as performed during later terms, can be emotionally or psychologically distressing for a woman.
Possible Physical and Psychological Effects of Late-Term Abortion
Later-term abortion experience from Susan Terkel's book, Abortion – Facing the Issues
"I was given a saline abortion at four months, and I never once was told of the pain involved during the injection of the saline solution into my womb. Neither was I told of the pain involved in labor, nor even that my body would go into labor to reject the struggling, dying baby that was being burned alive in my uterus. Over four hours after the injection, I gave birth to my dead son. I know he was my son because I asked the nurse what it was as she removed the bedpan, and she said, 'It's a boy.'"
The American Psychological Association's study of the mental health effects of abortion for women in the United States concluded that teenagers and women who are pressured to have an abortion, women who have more than one abortion, and those who have late-term abortions are at a higher risk for mental health disorders than those who do not abort.
A 2010 U.S. study published in the Journal of Pregnancy concluded that later-term and late-term abortions are associated with a higher rate of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) in women. Some of the psychological symptoms resulting after an abortion include trouble sleeping, disturbing dreams, and the reliving of the abortion process. Sixty-seven percent of women having late abortions met the criteria for PTSD symptoms.
The authors conclude that women who have later-term abortions (after the first trimester), "may need more active professional intervention" "based on the increased risks identified herein." The authors recommend more research on the topic of "mental illness" and later-term abortions.
20-week-old fetus. Later-term abortion is considered to be an abortion past the first trimester (four months and later). Late-term abortion is past 20 weeks of gestation. Late-term abortion is past 20 weeks of gestation. -- Illustration: Melchior Meijer
Medical Induction Method - When the Fetus is Born Alive
Though not common, the possibility of the fetus being born alive when the medical induction method is employed is real, and there is no guarantee that the fetus will be born dead. When the fetus is born alive, doctors are under obligation to try to save the life of the fetus since babies can survive through this ordeal, performed as it is late in the pregnancy.
One of the ethical considerations that has been raised by the pro-life movement concerning late-term abortion in general is that there is no moral distinction between a fetus that dies during an abortion and infanticide. For those in favor of abortion, the possibility of giving birth to a live fetus during the abortion procedure dissuades some from having a late-term abortion.
Recent U.S. Legislation Efforts on Late-Term Abortion
On May 13, 2015, The House of Representatives approved a bill known as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act banning late-term abortions from after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The vote was largely partisan, with the exception of four or five representatives from either party. If the Senate approves the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, President Barack Obama has threatened a veto. Republicans and pro-life groups would endeavor to use a presidential veto as a campaign tool in the 2016 elections as a response.
References for Late-Term Abortion page
1. Abortion After the First Trimester in the United States. (2014). Planned Parenthood. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/5113/9611/5527/Abortion_After_first_trimester.pdf
2. Coleman, P.K., Coyle, C.T., Rue, V.M. (2010, August 1). Late-term elective abortion and susceptibility to posttraumatic stress symptoms. Journal of Pregnancy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21490737
3. Ertelt, S. (2015, May 13). House Passes Pro-Life Bill Banning Late-Term Abortions After 20 Weeks. LifeNews.com.
4. Facts on Induced Abortion In the United States. (2014). Guttmacher Institute. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.pdf
5. How are late-term abortions performed? (2004, March 8). Religious Tolerance.org.
(The Religious Tolerance accurate summation of late-term abortion is neither pro-life nor pro-choice, but factually presents how late-term abortions are practiced).
6. Imber, J. (1986). Abortion and the Private Practice of Medicine. Yale University Press. http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=0300035543
7. ABORTION NEWS: Los Angeles Times Examines Late-Term Abortion Procedures. (2007, May 7). Women's Health Policy Report. http://go.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=8749
8. Mental Health and Abortion. American Psychological Association. Retrieved May 22, 2011 from http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/women/mental-health-and-abortion.aspx.
9. Response to the APA Task Force Report. (2008, September). American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).
10. Terkel, S. N. (1988). Abortion - Facing the Issues. Impact.
Other Pages on Abortion
Abortion Psychological effects - Male and female grief - teen abortion - Down Syndrome
Abortion Help - Moral, psychological and spiritual aspects of abortion