Late Term Abortion – Helping Women?

What Would You Say?

You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Late-term abortions are rare and only done when the mother’s life is at risk. If we limit late-term abortions, we’ll only be hurting women. What would you say? Abortion-advocacy groups often claim that late-term abortions are exceedingly rare. In fact, since 91 percent of all abortions are done in the first trimester and only nine percent are performed later, late-term abortions are only performed, they claim, when it is medically necessary to protect the life of the mother. The implication is that nobody gets a late-term abortion for convenience, but they're not telling you the whole story. 
 The next time someone tells you that we need late-term abortion, here are three things to remember: Number 1: Later-term abortions are common, and many later term abortions are not performed out of medical necessity. According to the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research group), there are 862,000 abortions reported annually in the U.S. While it is true that only 9% of those abortions are performed after 13 weeks, that still amounts to 77,580 later-term procedures every year! That’s about as many babies as could fill a professional football stadium! Also, the majority of later term abortions are not health related for either mother or child, unless we define “health” so broadly it loses all meaning. According to Guttmacher, at least 69% of abortions performed after 13 weeks have nothing to do with fetal or maternal health concerns. But the number is likely much higher. That 69% figure assumes that “health concerns” means “medically necessary abortions.” But it doesn't. According to the study, "health" may mean "Women who felt that their fetus’s health had been compromised" or who suffered from depression or other non-life threatening conditions. In short, later-term abortions are done every day in the U.S. for non-medical reasons. 
 Number 2: Late-term abortion is a gruesome procedure. Abortionist Warren Hern described late term abortion this way, "The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current." Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: it bleeds to death as it is torn from limb to limb." Advocates often try to put a positive spin on late-term abortion and ignore what it actually is. But the world should see abortion-victim imagery. Often advocates claim that pro-lifers fake the images, but that should only make us ask, “What do real abortion pictures look like?" The main thing about abortion is still the main thing about later-term abortions: No reasons given for later-term abortion justify intentionally dismembering an innocent human being.  Number 3: The central issue is not about who loves women and who hates them, but about who counts as one of us. Often abortion advocates accuse those who oppose abortion of hating women. However, they are simply assuming what they have not demonstrated, that the unborn do not deserve protection. After all, if the unborn are not members of the human family, then of course restricting abortion would be to unfairly imposes someone else’s moral views on women. However, that’s not what is being argued, and that’s not what is at stake in this debate. If each and every human being has an equal right to life, and the unborn is a human being like the rest of us, then abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. If the unborn are human beings with a right to life, they should be protected by law just like anyone else.  The issue is not who loves women and who hates them. The issue that separates those who oppose abortions and those who don’t is whether or not the unborn are members of the human family. 
 So, the next time you're challenged on late-term abortion, remember these three things: 
Number 1: Later-term abortions are common, and many later term abortions are not performed out of medical necessity. Number 2: Late term abortion is a gruesome procedure. Number 3: The central issue not is about who hates women and who loves them. It's about who counts as one of us. 
For What Would You Say, I’m Megan Almon.

Klusendorf, Scott. The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2009.
Thank you to Scott Klusendorf and Megan Almon for their contributions to this video.