Federal law doesn’t limit when an abortion can happen; some states don’t either. In New Mexico, Southwestern Women’s Options will abort children at up to 28 weeks for women who didn’t realize how far along they were. Abortions later than that are offered on a “case-by-case basis,” with documents released by a congressional panel this year showing a 30.5 week old baby was removed “intact.”
Here’s what that looks like:
But unlimited abortion isn’t the norm, as states usually impose restrictions at the point of viability. Until recently, that was considered to be 24 weeks, but it’s dropping as evidence shows many children can survive even earlier when given proper care. Not all of them get care, of course: babies inadvertently delivered at abortion facilities are often left to die.
Given that most states restrict late-term abortion, University of California associate professor Diana Greene Foster decided to ask a question: “What happens when women get turned away from an abortion clinic?”
You often hear how abortion is necessary to protect “emotional well being.” A study published in the British Medical Journal doesn’t support that claim. The researchers actually found that women who had abortions faced a higher risk of suicide than those who didn’t.
Foster’s findings don’t bolster it either. She studied women who were turned away from abortion clinics and found that their “initial and subsequent levels of depressive symptoms were similar” to those who weren’t. And while she contended that the former group experienced higher anxiety levels, Foster found no difference between the two after six months.
She noted other problems, though. For example, Foster claims that those who couldn’t abort were three times more likely to be below the federal poverty line. I can’t say whether her findings are accurate, but it’s true that a lot of women just don’t feel ready to raise a baby. The good news? Plenty of people are.
Many think adoption means “giving your baby up” to languish in “the system.” The fact is, hopeful couples actually outnumber available infants, so there’s no shortage of loving homes.
Further, a lot of them are interested in “open adoption,” a process in which a birth mom chooses a family for her baby. One place to find those families is Adoption.com. It’s a site where couples who have been approved by a licensed adoption agency can create an online profile explaining what they have to offer.
In the meantime, practical help and emotional support is available at pregnancy care centers – whether you choose adoption or parenting. You can find one in your area by visiting OptionLine.org or texting the word “Helpline” to 313131. One of the nation’s largest pregnancy care networks is is called Care Net. Its local affiliates offer free pregnancy tests, pregnancy related information, and material resources, with some providing ultrasounds for pregnancy confirmation and STI testing as well.
For additional health care needs, including pregnancy care, you can go to federally qualified health centers and community health centers. Some pro-life organizations have created a website to help you find the closest one.
A New York Times article on Foster’s study noted that many of the women involved never considered adoption. That’s something pro-lifers should try to change. Because there’s nothing wrong with admitting you’re not ready to raise a baby. Saving a life? There’s a whole lot right about that.