There is No Reason for Late-Term Abortion

There is no reason for late-term abortions.

Abortion supporters are fond of saying that people like Dr Kermit Gosnell, the late Dr George Tiller and Dr LeRoy Carhart perform a “necessary service” for “desperate women” when they “provide” late term abortions.

Not true.

Not even close to being true.

There is no reason for a late-term abortion. None. Zip. Zilch.

The legislators I work with, and (I would guess) much of the general public, lives in a fantasy land about abortion. They seem to think that an elective abortion involves a preternatural procedure where the doctor waves a medical magic wand over the pregnant woman and — poof! — she is no longer pregnant.

In their self-consoling dream world, abortion is just a re-wind that doesn’t put women through a surgery or, in the case of late-term abortions, a labor and delivery. All they will allow themselves to think that happens with “safe, legal abortion” is that the woman pays her money and is, through a miraculous medical intervention, made unpregnant.

In this fantasy world, there are no dismembered little baby bodies and their scrambled parts to reassemble and check to make sure the abortion is complete. In fantasy abortions, women do not experience pain during the fantasy procedure and danger is non-existent.

This “thing” that will one day “become a baby” is not a human being. In the cowardly imaginations of those who won’t face facts, no one suffers, no one dies, and in fact, nothing much happens in an abortion. It’s all painless, deathless problem solving for problems they don’t want to actually solve.

That’s where most of the resistance to pro life legislation lives. It is a product of convenient lies that allow people to do monstrous things and keep their own mental skirts clean, at least so long as they box themselves off from reality and never know the truth.

This nonsense about “necessary services” for “desperate women” concerning the work of Gosnell/Tiller/Carhart is  fantasy carried to the point of deliberate delusion.

Let’s stop for a moment and try thinking about the reality rather than the fantasy.

Late-term abortion refers to the deliberate killing of babies whose mothers are far along in their pregnancies. That’s where the phrase “late-term” comes from. What does that mean? It means that the baby looks like a baby, acts like a baby, sounds like a baby and, if it’s born at this point, would have a fighting chance of living like a baby.

Late-term abortions are performed on women who advanced months into their pregnancies before their “desperation” set in. This “service” requires that the women be put through horrific medical procedures that involve giving them large doses of contraction-stimulating hormones to induce unusually violent and painful labor and delivery. A nurse who assisted in these things told me that the doctors they worked for deliberately stimulated contractions so violent that the contractions would usually kill the baby while it was being born.

Aside from what this does to the baby, what do you think it does to the woman? The grisly and illegal procedure we call “partial birth abortion” requires that the baby be delivered feet first, then the delivery stopped so that the doctor can suction out the baby’s brain before it is legally born. Proponents of this procedure talked about how it was necessary for “women’s health.” But I ask you, aside from what it does to the baby, what do you think that does to the woman? How is that consistent with “women’s health?”

I’m not talking about her emotions here. I am talking about labor and delivery practices that are painful, dangerous and quite horrible for the woman. How is this something that protects “women’s health?”

The answer is, it doesn’t.

In addition to what this does to the woman, consider for a moment that many of these babies must be deliberately killed before the procedure takes place to keep them from being born alive. The way I’ve heard that this is usually done is to give the baby a shot of poison directly into its heart. This means jabbing a needle through the mother’s abdomen and into the baby. It means the mother has to feel her baby thrash around the avoid the needle, then feel it die. All this is done to keep the legal fiction that this late-term abortion is not, in fact, a cold-blooded murder.

In spite of this, many of these babies are born alive. The doctor might miss the mark and not shoot the poison into the baby’s heart. Or, the dose might be too small. Or, the doctor doesn’t administer the death-dealing drug and the baby is strong enough to survive the excessively violent contractions the doctor puts the mother through.

However it happens, babies do manage to survive these deliberate attempts to medically murder them and are born alive. When that happens, what does a doctor do? For decades, they killed these babies. Changes in the law now require them to administer medical care to the babies, but as we’ve learned, that doesn’t always happen.

How does all this support my contention that late-term abortion is never necessary? What about abortion to save the mother’s life?

The answer is so obvious it’s hard to believe people don’t see it.

If the woman is going to have to go through a labor and delivery anyway, there is no reason whatsoever to kill the baby. If the mother’s life is at stake, all that needs to be done is deliver the baby. Then, do your medical best to save both the child and its mother. 

There is no reason to kill these babies. There is no medical reason. No moral reason. No situation that requires it.

In some instances, late-term abortions are performed on very young girls. Proponents don’t argue their case, because they don’t have one. They simply point to the young girl and yammer about how can anyone “force” her to have a child. Their whole argument is based on the magic rewind fantasy abortion.

It ignores the fact that a late-term abortion will put the young girl through a much harsher labor and delivery than she would experience if she received life-saving medical care designed to save both her and her baby. It ignores the reality that the baby is already here. There is a child.

All late-term abortion does is kill the child. It does not save the mother anything. It is not “necessary” and it is not done to “save” “desperate” women.

There is no reason for late-term abortion.

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  • vox borealis

    Amen, amen I say to you.

  • pagansister

    “There is No Reason for Late-Term Abortion”. Rebecca. Absolutely, positively agree.

  • Maggie Goff

    No one can write about this like you can, Rebecca. Thank you!!!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Maggie.

  • Bill S

    I believe that there is a difference between ending a pregnancy as soon as you find out you are pregnant and killing a baby that is capable of living on its own. I believe that the former should be legal and the latter should not.

    I also believe that, by being against even preventing conception let alone early abortions, the Catholic Church has lost the credibility needed to speak up against really killing babies, because those babies would live if you didn’t kill them. For example, why should anyone listen to a person who argues just as loudly against the morning after pill as against late term abortions. That person does not have the same credibility as the one who knows enough to see the difference.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      The reason I oppose abortion throughout pregnancy is simple Bill. It’s the same baby. You are focusing on what someone looks like and trying to limit their humanity based on that. From conception to death, we are each of us one person. As for the Church, I think the Church’s reasons are much the same.

      • Bill S

        When I think about abortion, I put aside how I feel about the person being aborted. Life is all about being conscious, experiencing it and interacting with others, some of whom may be dependent upon you. An embryo has not gained consciousness. Nothing gained, nothing lost.

        The person I worry about (including an ex girlfriend who had an abortion of my child) is the woman. What happens to a woman’s psyche after she takes a morning after pill? I suppose that if she was raped or did not want to marry the father, it would actually benefit the psyche. What happens to her if she has a late term abortion? It could impact her for life.

        My girlfriend had the abortion at 10 weeks. I was away on spring break and knew nothing about it. We never got back together. To this day, I have zero concern for the fetus and 100% concern for how my ex-girlfriend ended up. That is why I say the earlier the better, for the woman’s sake.

        • Christian

          Firstly, “life is all about being conscious” may be your perspective, and that’s fine, but no other person needs to accept your personal perspective of “what life is all about” as their own. If I believed that life is all about having a genetic code, who’s to say that you’re wrong and that I’m right?

          Secondly, if we label “conscious experience” as the exact cutoff line at which abortion becomes unacceptable, we’re going to need a really advanced method of figuring out when, exactly, that begins. If we can’t figure out exactly when that is, we have a problem on our hands. Further, even if we could somehow figure that out, to say “it should be considered a human life and un-abortable at exactly that moment” raises obvious quasi-trolling questions like “oh, so it wasn’t a human life five seconds beforehand? How sure are you of that?”

          If abortion is always morally impermissible (and to say otherwise is silly if one claims to value human life), rape or lack of desire to marry the father don’t somehow constitute good reasons to consider it permissible. In any event: the Church is pretty clear on these: rape sucks, abortion is still always impermissible, and the woman must be cared for as well as possible. If you’re not ready to make a baby, you’re not ready to have sex. If you’re a woman and you don’t want to bear a man’s child, don’t have sex with him. (Involuntary circumstances like rape are a different story, obviously.)

          • Bill S

            “If abortion is always morally impermissible (and to say otherwise is silly if one claims to value human life), rape or lack of desire to marry the father don’t somehow constitute good reasons to consider it permissible.”

            I try not to get in arguments with people who hold this position. It will never be accepted in this country and that is good enough for me.

        • Theodore Seeber

          “When I think about abortion, I put aside how I feel about the person being aborted.”

          The rest of your message seems useless because of this singular lack of empathy. It is scary.

          • Bill S

            That’s because you don’t have the slightest concern for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy. Your lack of empathy is more scary.

    • Theodore Seeber

      I find splitting the difference to be less credible. Here’s why.

      An acorn is the same species as an oak tree. A chicken egg, if you allow the rooster to fertilize, will become a chicken.

      Everybody raised rural knows this. I think a few people who have been raised urban, disconnected from the land, have forgotten.

    • Robert King

      For the record, the Catholic Church does see a difference between contraception and abortion. She has distinct reasons for opposing each practice, though both lines of reasoning are based on the the same fundamental principles.

      The fundamental principles are 1) that the human person has inherent and inalienable dignity, and 2) should not be prevented from living a life befitting that dignity.

      Abortion is, from this perspective, a form of murder. Killing someone denies their dignity and denies their right to live at all – to say nothing of living in a dignified way.

      Contraception, on the other hand, denies the full nature of the sexual act. Minimally, it should be clear that there is an essential and causal link between sexual intercourse and procreation – though I have seen some deny even this – and that contraception is an attempt to break that causal link. The Church sees this as an affront to the dignity of human sexuality, because human sexuality involves the free gift of oneself to one’s mate. With contraception, at least one member of the couple denies the other the full gift of self (including one’s procreativity) that human sexuality entails. I understand that many outside the Catholic Church disagree with this understanding of human sexuality; but given this understanding, the argument follows logically: contraception does violence to human dignity, therefore it should not be done.

      So both abortion and contraception are seen as wrong, but for different reasons. However, they are closely related by sharing largely the same motivation: to avoid having a child. This leads to a justification of abortion as if it were “merely” a form of contraception. It also leads to the unsurprising rise in abortions whenever there is a rise in contraceptive use.

      So even for practical purposes, more contraception is not a way to decrease abortion. It is merely an attempt to deny the link between sexual intercourse and procreation.

      • pagansister

        The purpose of contraception is to prevent a pregnancy, Robert King. By preventing a pregnancy on purpose, the need for a possible abortion is reduced if not eliminated. I understand the Church thinks that a chance for a baby should always accompany the sex act—-however I never felt my husband didn’t have my full “gift’ when we made love, nor did I feel he was not giving his full self… 2 children were our plan and it was carried out successfully. I would not have enjoyed worrying about a pregnancy each time we were together in an intimate way. To us it was important to be able to feed and clothe our children. However, I find it interesting that those Catholics that still use NFP (though I think fewer Catholics are counting on that to limit their pregnancies) have the purpose of trying hard NOT to get pregnant with that unsure method. Having taught in a Catholic school, it was interesting that the teachers I taught with only had at the most, 3 children. One had 4. I’m sure they weren’t counting on NFP.

        • Theodore Seeber

          “The purpose of contraception is to prevent a pregnancy”

          And that’s what scares me about it.

          “I would not have enjoyed worrying about a pregnancy each time we were together in an intimate way. ”

          Sex shouldn’t be about enjoyment. Besides, there are LOTS of intimate ways to be together without sex. In fact, I find just talking and discussing to be far more enjoyable than sex.

          • pagansister

            Seriously Theodore, sex shouldn’t be about enjoyment? I’m sure for some women ( and men?) it is a duty, not a pleasure, which is sad. And yes, Theodore, contraception is about preventing pregnancy. Not to worry, this world isn’t going to run out of human beings.

            • JoFro

              I thnk Theodore meant that “sex should not only be seen as an enjoyment” – because his line “sex shouldn’t be about enjoyment” would put him at odd with Theology of the Body, written by Pope JP2.

              • pagansister

                Perhaps, JoFro, Theodore meant to write what you said—but honestly, I wouldn’t count on it. His comment about liking to talk and discuss being more enjoyable than sex says something.

                • Rebecca Hamilton

                  Let’s get back on the issues. Ted can speak for himself if he wants.

                  • pagansister

                    Thanks for the reminder, Rebecca. :-)

  • http://FromMyHeartToYoursAJourneyofFaithandPrayer Barbara Arndt

    One of the most accurate articles on abortion that I have read. Thank You for your clear, easily understandable statement of facts. Praying for your safety.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you.

  • Tom Quiner

    Excellent clarification on why late term abortion is not only wrong, but unnecessary.

  • Melodie VanderWal

    It’s all about the value of human life. As long as life is valued from conception to natural death, you have no one arguing over when a life ‘is viable’. I can appreciate when a secular thinker doesn’t agree with the pro-life stand but it confuses, angers, breaks my heart to hear one who professes to be a Christian argue in favour of abortion. Thank you Jesus that you were more concerned about every single one of God’s creations (Jer 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you;) than your own life and future. While I know many hate to hear scripture quoted I cannot speak for life without quoting John 10:10 “The thief [devil] comes to steal, kill, and destroy but I have come that they [babes, mom, & dads] might have life; and that they might have it more abundantly.”

    Once again, how can one who calls themselves a Christian be anything other than pro-life?

  • Neme

    So Bill, is there some magical point in development, an exact time, at which consciousness suddenly appears? And how would you define consciousness? Would you, for example, consider a fetus interacting with its environment as a form of consciousness? Or does it require a higher ability to think about one’s actions and their affects upon others and/or their environment? If the latter, I suppose infanticide should be legal.

    You previously stated that you think it’s wrong to kill a baby capable of living on its own, so in that instance you are using viability, not consciousness, as the barometer to disallow abortions. Studies have demonstrated that twins in the 14th week of development deliberately interact with one another ( Fetuses are not typically considered viable prior to 22-24 weeks.

    It seems to me that you would rather not consider the squishier aspects of the abortion controversy. Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. It is a tragedy that so many women choose the selfish finality of a dead fetus over the selfless act of adoption. In NY, ~40% of concieved humans are aborted. Four in 10 humans, like your fetus, just tossed away into a garbage bin. It is beyond comprehension to me that any woman would even believe there is a choice. Yes, I am a woman and in my mind the choice is clear. It is a good thing for humanity that only 1/3 of women are monstrous enough to destroy their own defenseless progeny. What a fearsome creature woman (and man) has become!

  • Manny

    Amen. I would argue there is no reason for an abortion at any time in the pregnancy. Period. It’s still at human being at nine days as it is at nine months.

  • pagansister

    So you consider the 1/3 of women who have chosen to terminate their pregnancy “monstrous”. Having known 3 women who made that choice, (before the 3rd month was done) none were monstrous. Guess you have never had the experience of knowing a woman who had to make that choice. Think you would find they weren’t monsters after all.

    • Manny

      I assume that’s directed at me Pagansister. No I do not. I think they are incredibly disillusioned. A monster would be a person who fully believes that a fetus is totally human and still kills her. The typical person who undergoes an abortion believes the fetus is not fully human. How wrong they are. So the three women you refer to, did they believe they were killing a human being?

      • pagansister

        Actually, Manny, I meant it for Neme, who had that number in her last statement. I realized after I had posted the response that I hadn’t included her name in my comment. It has been over 20 years since those 3 women had their abortions, but knowing them as I do, I would say no. One was my cousin, who had contracted a virus (not sure what kind) at the beginning of her pregnancy, which had been proven to cause horrible malformations. She later became pregnant with her 3rd.

  • Neme

    Perhaps they aren’t monstrous people, but abortion is always a monstrous act. I know one woman who has had an abortion. It affected her deeply, and she regrets it to this day.

    • Bill S

      “I know one woman who has had an abortion. It affected her deeply, and she regrets it to this day.”

      I believe that this is the most important consideration regarding when an abortion should be performed, i.e., the impact on the woman. Nothing else is important. Conscious or not conscious, viable or not viable, etc. are all secondary considerations. If a woman is going to regret it the rest of her life, and if she knows she will, then maybe she should choose not to have an abortion. On the other hand, if she is going to regret not having an abortion, and if she knows she will, she should choose to have it. In either case, the choice should be hers and no one else’s.

  • pagansister

    Yes, Neme, some women do regret their decision—but they usually had/have a choice. The women I mentioned have never regretted their decision. For them it was the right thing to do at the time. One has 3 children now.

    • JoFro

      My sister’s friend worked in a prison facility, where she regularly encountered murderers who never regretted their decisions, served their sentences and went on to have families of their own – doesn’t mean they aren’t murderers

  • pagansister

    JoFro: “—–doesn’t mean they aren’t murderers”. I would not put women who make a hard decision such as whether to continue a pregnancy or not in the same category as those that are incarcerated for murder.

  • FW Ken

    What if “clinics” were limited to first-trimester abortions, with second-trimester procedures in day surgery centers, and the RARE late term abortion performed in a fully equipped hospital with medical staff adequate to save the baby if possible.

  • Beth

    Bill S, your lack of empathy for the child in the womb is scary.

  • Beth

    Bill S, you have no consideration for the baby. You are only concerned about the “impact on the woman”. How does the woman know what the impact is going to be until she has the abortion? Why is giving birth such an awful thing? Why not give birth and give the baby up for adoption?

  • Beth

    pagansister, JoFro’s point is a good one. She is saying that just because a woman doesn’t regret her abortion doesn’t mean that she has not done something very wrong, killing her child.

  • Nick Haz

    Some time late term abortions are needed to save a mother’s life or to terminate a pregnancy where the baby is severely disabled (Potter’s syndrome, can’t be diagnosed until 20 weeks and it is always fatal).

    However I am strongly against late term abortions without a urgent medical reason. 20 weeks is PLENTY of time for a woman to discover a pregnancy, schedule an abortion, save the money, and get it preformed.

    To be honest I don’t really think abortion, in a majority of cases, is necessary (except in cases of rape). If you can’t afford to raise a kid then don’t have sex. Everything has its consequences, if you can’t deal with them then you shouldn’t be having sex.

    Also if contraception (condoms, spermicide, and the pill, all at once) and plan B are used properly the chances of becoming pregnant are infinitesimally small.

    1) Don’t have premarital sex.
    2) If you do, use protection.

    Following these two steps there wouldn’t be any unwanted pregnancies to abort in the first place except in cases of rape and medical emergencies, which most people would deem as reasonable reasons for an abortion.

    • hamiltonr

      There is no reason for a late term abortion. If there is a strong enough medical reason to stop the pregnancy, all that needs to be done is to deliver the baby and then try to save the baby. This would be far easier on the women physically than an abortion at this point.

  • FW Ken

    Thank you, Mr. King. That was a keeper.