According to the Washington Post, only 1.3 percent of abortions in America took place at or after twenty-one weeks gestational period out of 926,200 women. Most of those late-term abortions took place in the Nation´s Capital, Washington D.C. Abortions past twenty-one weeks gestational period, also known as late-term abortions, should not be allowed in Washington D.C.
Currently, there are no limits or restrictions on abortions in Washington D.C. As a matter of fact, abortions in the District of Columbia do not need to be performed by a licensed doctor, or even in a hospital with a doctor present (The Christian Post). As well as being morally injust, late-term abortion is extremely dangerous for both the fetus and the mother. Surgical abortion is an/ option many consider to terminate their pregnancy. To start off with the surgical abortion, the person performing the abortion gradually opens your cervix with a series of rods increasing in size, and then a slim tube is inserted into the uterus of the patient. The next step consists of suctioning the fetus and the placenta out of the uterus, and using a curette to insure that the uterus is empty. This form of abortion can be performed up until thirty-six weeks gestation in certain clinics in Washington D.C. A full term pregnancy is forty weeks, so in our Nation's Capital, you can terminate a pregnancy up until four weeks before the due date. The Christian Post states that there are fewer than ten abortionists in the United States willing to perform a late-term pregnancy termination, which takes around three or four days to complete due to liabilities. Three men who have already performed late- term abortions are inprisoned (Kermit Gosnell) or have had their medical licenses revoked (James Pendergraft, and Steven Brigham).
Capital Women's Services in Washington D.C offers abortions up to thirty-six weeks gestation under certain circumstances including fetal or maternal indications such as abnormalities from environmental or genetic factors for the fetus, and physical or mental disorders that may jeapordize the mother´s health. The clinic states that they are committed to reproductive freedom for all women, and claim to be pro-woman, pro-family, pro-child, and pro-choice. If they claim to be pro child, then it goes against what their clinic specializes in, abortions.
Another type of abortion that is offered in Washington D.C is called a medical abortion. According to Stephanie Watson from the healthline, medical abortion is in a pill form, and occurs when Mifeprex, and Cytotec are taken. Together, the two drugs are lethal to the fetus. This type of abortion can only be used until ten weeks gestation, and usually costs between 300, and 800 dollars. After the ten week period passes, the mother is left with a few more options such as vacuum aspiration, dilation and evacuation, and induction.
The District of Columbia tries to justify abortions, and even offers some public funding for those financially unable to pay for an abortion under certain circumstances, of course. Those circumstances include funding for victims of rape or incest. The government in Washington D.C offers these particular types of public funding for any sort of abortion offered in Washington D.C. as well as working with external agencies to provide qualified patients with the financial help that they may need. Capital women’s services clinic in the District of Columbia accepts all major forms of insurance as a payment for their services, and offer uninsured patients service an affordable prices.
President Donald J. Trump has been trying to make late-term abortions illegal in the United states since January of 2019 in his State of the Union Address. A statistic supporting his point comes from the Gallup Poll from 2018. It stated that 60 percent of Americans said that in the first trimester abortion should be legal, but the number went drastically down to 13 percent when asked if abortion should be allowed in the third trimester. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only seven states in America have no restrictive bans on terminating a pregnancy after some point in the pregnancy (The Guttmacher Institute). The Washington Post brings up a baby born at twenty-one weeks and four days gestation, and how she was born underdeveloped, but she was a human, and survived. She is now a healthy two year old (The Washington Post).
According to the Washington Post, a good percentage of women seeking late-term abortions are either depressed, or abusing substances, raising children alone, were or are currently in an abusive relationship, or were young parents.
Although many people in America oppose to late-term abortions, many people still believe that a woman should always have a choice of her body at any time. The infamous 1970 court case of Roe v Wade, Jane Roe filed a lawsuit against the attorney general, saying that making abortion illegal except in a case ordered by a doctor to save a womans life was unconstitutional, and violated her first, fourth, fifth, nineth, and fourteenth amendments. The jury vote 7-2 in favor of Ms. Roe claiming that her fourteenth amendment of privacy was indeed being violated (Oyez). Pro- choice advocates fight strongly for women’s reproductive rights, but what about men’s? Men have little to no say of what goes on inside the walls of an aborton clinic. What pro choice advocates try to keep out of the light is that since a woman physically has the embryo growing inside of her body, she has every right to terminate it, even though it is not just her child inside of her. Women have the choice to just go and terminate pregnancies of babies that their partner would have loved to raise.
Women are given the choice of their own bodies, but human life begins at contraception, and that abortions are considered murder, especially if they are later in the pregnancy. A study showed that even at eight weeks gestation, the fetus can feel pain during the abortion process, if the fetus is past twenty weeks gestation, it is safe to assume that the pain that the fetus would endure would be excruciating and severe. Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson said that when an abortion is performed on a twelve-week fetus, it is seen in ultrasound images that the child’s mouth opens, and lets out a silent scream (Abortion-procon).
Unconstitutional or not, abortion is murder, and parents should not be using abortion as a type of contraception because they were not safe. It is not just morally wrong to have any type of an aborton, but it also goes against the word of God, because abortion is murder of an unborn child. A poll done by the Guttmacher Institute stated that forty- five percent of women having an abortions anually have had at least one abortion before.
Allowing abortions after twenty-one weeks gestation, and having absolutely no restrictive bans on abortions in Washington D.C should not be how American’s should be presenting their capital for the rest of the world to see. Twenty-six countries in the entire world prohibit any sort of abortion, and America is not setting a very good example, America is pretty much promoting that human life is easily disposable, whether it’s at twelve, or twenty one weeks gestation. House representative Randy Hultgren wrote that victims of abortion will never be able to see the light of day, because that was taken away from them by someone who claimed to have control over their own body, which might just lead to further medical problems for the mother along the road. The International Journal of Epidemiology guessed that in the first trimester, most likely 15% of miscariages had something to do with a mother having a previous abortion.
Although late term abortions are extremely rare, and less than 1% of abortions in America are past 21 weeks gestation, other states are fighting to have the maximum date for the procedure changed back on abortions. Georgia and Missouri are proposing that six weeks is more than enough time, while other states such as Mississippi vote to change their state ́s limit to 15 weeks gestation (The Guardian). 43 out of the 50 states already have some sort of ban on abortions after a certian time period in the pregnancy, and 22 states ban abortion between 13 and 24 weeks which leaves seven states with no bans on abortions throughout the whole pregnancy (Guttmacher).
Overall, late- term abortions are not something that should be promoted. or allowed in the Nation’s Capital, because they are doing more harm than good for men and women all around the world. They are extremely dangerous The Atlantic claims that over 30,000 maternal deaths each year are caused by unsafe abortions, which is around eight to 11 percent (The Atlantic).
- Capital Women’s Services. www.capitalwomensservices.com/ LateTermAbortionCareForMaternalFetalIndications.php.
- The Christian Post. 30 Jan. 2019, www.christianpost.com/news/ 7-states-already-allow-abortion-up-to-birth-not-just-new-york.html.
- Find law. statelaws.findlaw.com/dc-law/district-of-columbia-abortion-laws.html.
- Guttmacher Institute. www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-district-columbia
- Healthline. www.healthline.com/health/types-of-abortion#medical-abortion
- Oyez. www.oyez.org/cases/1971/70-18
- Pro Con. abortion.procon.org/: Reproductive Rights. reproductiverights.org/worldabortionlaws?category=294.
- Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/07/late-term-abortions-challenge-both-pro-choice-pro-life-sides/.
- The Guardian. www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2019/mar/07/abortion-late-term-what-pregnancy-stage.
- The Atlantic. www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/10/ how-many-women-die-illegal-abortions/572638/.