Many people are not aware that abortions done in the late second and third trimester are legal, but they happen every day in the United States. Most late term abortions are done for elective, not medical reasons.
Pro-choice feminist Wendy Simonds interviewed clinic workers who spoke about how they felt when their clinic started performing abortions up to 26 weeks.
From one clinic worker:
[W]e were so excited that women who were 26 weeks could get an abortion at our clinic and not have to go to Pavilion for a saline induction… But we were also extremely sensitive to what the increasing gestation was going to do to us as human beings… The women… are going to be in more pain… The abortions are going to be longer. The assistant is going to have to watch a much, you know, further abortion. And there’s a marked difference between 26 weeks and 21 weeks in terms of fetal development… We had [meetings] where we talked about our feelings… We talked about the ambivalence, about wanting to provide this service and being really excited about it and being really nervous about handling the tissue.
This “tissue” is the torn apart body of a fully developed preborn baby. Below is a picture of a preborn baby at 24 weeks gestation- a baby at two weeks earlier than the age the clinic worker is discussing. Look at her, and then think about what this “tissue” would look like after abortion.
Babies at this age used to be aborted through a saline injection, as the clinic worker notes. The caustic saline solution would be injected into a woman’s womb and the baby would be poisoned. It could take hours for the baby to die, and the mother would feel every dying kick. Labor would then be induced and the mother would essentially “give birth” to a dead baby. This method was dangerous to women and resulted in too many live births, so the abortion industry switched to other techniques.
The clinic I am writing about did late term abortions differently. They used a procedure called D&E (Dilation and Evacuation). These are the “dismemberment abortions’ that some states have banned. This type of abortion is performed by pushing forceps into the mother’s uterus and tearing pieces off of the baby. The doctor extracts the baby piece by piece, i.e. a leg, then an arm, etc. At the end of the abortion the skull is crushed and removed and then the womb is suctioned to get rid of any excess material.
Another clinic worker weighs in on abortions at 26 weeks:
So I felt like the women were getting a good procedure. And then I also felt… Thank God that were doing this!… I’m glad we’re doing it.
A third clinic worker says:
I like that we go up to 26 weeks. For a while it kind of gave me some things to learn… Plus it gives a whole new dimension to working with those women who come in for later abortions. It’s, like, great because they almost can’t have an abortion. They’re almost about to have a baby, and they don’t want to. And they’re really appreciative.
It is hard to imagine how some people can become so callous to the suffering of preborn babies. These clinic workers have completely devalued the preborn children they abort. As the general public turns a blind eye to what goes on in these clinics, it is left to pro-lifers to care and to try and stop the killing. If the 20 week limit bill before the Senate passes and is not vetoed by President Obama, these abortions will be banned. In the likely case of a veto, pro-life politicians can vote to try to overturn it. Sadly, even this law leaves a whole category of preborn babies unprotected – those who were conceived in rape or incest.
Source: Wendy Simonds. Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1996) 62, 63