The Facts About Late-Term Abortions

The Facts About Late-Term Abortions

Ohio's 20 week abortion ban is cruel and misinformed.
807
views

Isn’t it fascinating that Republicans so desperately want a smaller government, yet at the same time they want the government to have full control over women’s bodies? Headlines were made after a bill was introduced in Ohio that would ban abortions after the first detection of a fetal heartbeat. While Gov. John Kasich (R) vetoed this bill, he did sign a second that bans abortions after 20 weeks. This ban does not make exceptions for rape or incest. While the 20 week ban may seem more reasonable than the heartbeat bill, it is still cruel and just as restrictive. Why should a cisgender man with no medical knowledge be allowed to make decisions about women’s bodies?

To have an abortion is a choice that should be kept between a woman and her physician. Despite this, even with the passage of Roe v. Wade, states are still allowed to impose restrictions on abortions. Currently, 41 states have gestational limits, or abortion restraints based on the age of the pregnancy. The most common limitation is on having the procedure after 20 weeks or 24 weeks, depending on the state’s definition of a late-term abortion. However, only one percent of abortions are actually performed during this time; most occur within the first trimester. Therefore, why is there such a push for heavy regulation of late-term abortions if they occur so rarely?

Some people believe in the cultural myth that abortions, including late-term abortions, are used by pregnant people like birth control. This assumption is very illogical, considering that without insurance coverage, abortions are expensive procedures. Late-term abortions usually have an even higher price. According to Planned Parenthood, the average abortion pill costs about 800 dollars. Because the prices rise with the age of the pregnancy, late-term abortions can be as expensive as 2,000 dollars. These costs, as well as the state-imposed constraints, can make it very difficult to obtain any abortions at all, especially for low-income women. Therefore, it makes zero sense that abortions would be a viable form of birth control.

Others might think it is more humane to not allow abortions after 20 weeks. After all, during the 20th week the fetus gains higher cortical functioning due to the formation of the thalamus, and during week 25 the fetus’s brain activity begins to exhibit regular wave patterns; this is based on the medical definition of death, when electroencephalography (which demonstrates regular wave patterns) activity ceases. What these people don’t understand is that late-term abortions are not a simple matter of whether the pregnant person wants to keep the baby or not; these pregnancies are usually very wanted. Rather, these particular abortions are literally a matter of life and death for the mother and/or the fetus.

These abortions are usually performed in cases when the mother’s health and life are threatened by carrying to full term, or if the fetus is not viable, such as if it has already died in the womb or will live for only a few days after birth. Most birth defects, such as complications from the Zika virus, are also not detected until about 20 weeks into the pregnancy, which can leave the mother with a very difficult decision, especially if these defects will give the baby a very brief and painful lifespan. Moreover, 25 percent of women who get abortions are victims of domestic violence. In the case of late-term abortions, there are situations when the partner may become abusive during the pregnancy; the pregnant person might want an abortion to protect themselves from being even more closely linked to the abuser and to spare the fetus of future abuse.

Moreover, many people, such as Donald Trump, have major misconceptions about abortion procedures and think that they can be performed in the ninth month right when the baby is ready to be born. What this actually describes is the process of a cesarean section, which is not a form of abortion; it’s a form of birth. The most common procedure in a late-term abortion is actually the dilation and evacuation method. Osmotic dilators and/or misoprostol are used to soften and dilate the cervix to the necessary width, and then the doctor removes the fetus and placenta with vacuum aspiration, forceps, and a curette. An alternative procedure is the induction abortion, which uses drugs to induce labor. This process is usually chosen by people seeking abortions in the first trimester, though some women choose it in the second or third trimesters if they want to hold the fetus and say goodbye.

There are some individuals who argue that states with very few abortion restrictions, like New Mexico, can allow a situation where the abortion is performed during the 39th or 40th week. However, this is not exactly a fair example considering that only four residents of New Mexico had 28-week abortions in 2014; this number dropped to two in 2015. Moreover, because of the lax limitations, the abortion rate is New Mexico has actually dropped by 24 percent since 2010. The only rise has been in women coming from neighboring states with very restrictive laws to have abortions in New Mexico.

Unfortunately, the stigma that comes with abortions, especially late-term abortions, has caused a shortage of doctors willing to perform the procedure out of fear of violence from “pro-life” groups. In 2010, Dr. George Tiller, a late-term abortion provider, was murdered by anti-choice extremists who for years had harassed his clinic. Dr. Leroy Carhart, who is based outside of Washington D.C., has also experienced extreme harassment and attacks from anti-choice groups both online and in real life; in 1991, they even burned down his farm in Nebraska, which killed many of his animals. So much for being “pro-life.”

Moreover, Trump’s anti-choice rhetoric and ignorant statements about late-term abortion procedures only help fuel the fire that incites violence against abortion providers and the people seeking abortions. This election and Trump’s views only maintain that many conservatives only want a smaller government in terms of economics; with issues like restricting reproductive rights, they want a totalitarian regime. Because of his win, states like Ohio are given the message that abortion bans, even outrageous ones like the heartbeat bill, are perfectly reasonable. With Roe v. Wade’s position now made unstable with a Trump presidency, it is uncertain how much bodily autonomy anyone with a uterus will be able to maintain.
Cover Image Credit: Bitch Media

Popular Right Now

If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
506052
views

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

205
views

This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

Related Content

Facebook Comments