“Of the various ways to perform an abortion after the midpoint of pregnancy, there is only one that never, ever results in live births….However, it is particularly stressful to medical personnel. That is because D&E requires literally cutting the fetus from the womb and, then, reassembling the parts, or at least keeping them all in view, to assure that the abortion is complete…”(8)
Second trimester Dilation and Evacuation abortions are protected under Roe V. Wade. They cannot be restricted in any state for any reason. Why do women have abortions this late in pregnancy? According to the CDC, most women who have abortions at this stage are healthy mothers with healthy babies. In fact, less than ten percent of all second trimester abortions are performed on infants who are not healthy. (15) So what are the reasons? Some may be women who didn’t realize they were pregnant or who were unable to decide what to do about their pregnancies. Another group includes young women and teenagers who were able to deny and/or hide their pregnancies until they began to show. (16)
When arguing against abortion, many pro-choice people point to a newly conceived fertilized ovum or a collection of cells. How could such a thing be a person? Putting aside for a moment the debate as to whether life begins at conception, it is clear that the average abortion is performed on a fetus that has advanced far beyond the “ball of cells” stage.
Third trimester abortions account for only a small percentage of abortions performed in the United States. However, there are over 3500 abortions a day, and as many as 8,000 abortions in the third trimester in any given year. Most people are not aware that women can get an abortion in the third trimester for almost any reason. Roe Vs. Wade did stipulate that states could ban third trimester abortions unless a woman’s health was endangered by her pregnancy. However, in the Supreme Court case Doe Vs. Bolton, the concept of “health” was defined so broadly that it allows for almost any abortion. All a woman has to do is complete paperwork asserting that the abortion is detrimental to her mental health and she can have a late abortion in any state in the country.