When Donald Trump suggested that abortion laws permit doctors to “rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby” during the campaign last, he was describing abortion, as he is typically prone to do, without knowledge of or regard for the facts. He was also speaking about a devastating experience that some women and men know well. Again, Trump, as far as we know, has never had to cope with such an experience.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 99% of abortions occur before 21 weeks. Those performed past that point are usually in response to harrowing circumstances.
“Abortions that occur at this stage in pregnancy are often the result of tragic diagnoses and are exactly the scenarios wherein patients need their doctors, and not obstructive politicians,” Dr. Jennifer Conti, clinical assistant professor at Stanford University, told The Guardian.
In 2017 alone, 400 abortion restrictions have been introduced in 41 states, and Republicans introduced the first ever federal “heartbeat” bill, which would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, reports Natalia Megas. To make matters even worse, Megas writes, Congress is now considering a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks nationally—at precisely the time when the first signs of anatomical anomalies in the fetus can be detected by ultrasound.
Natalia Megas speaks to three different women about the misconceptions surrounding late-term terminations and why they’re needed in the first place.