Donald Trump, in the third Presidential Debate held Wednesday night, October 19, 2016, Made the most gruesome and horrific description of abortion. He completely mischaracterized late term abortions in a horrendous way, obviously wanting to create this horrible idea of healthy babies being slaughtered by the thousands. But, as per usual for Mr. Trump, his words were not based in reality. In fact, they are far more hateful and hurtful than he could possibly know. I say that, because to understand how hurtful they are, he would need to first have some basis of knowledge about late term abortions and, second, harbor some level of empathy. Donald Trump fails on both these points. But let’s look at the truth of late term abortion instead of Trump’s torch and pitchfork rant.
Approximately 1.2% of abortions happen after 22 weeks gestation. 22 weeks, not 30, not 38 and certainly not 39.5. From 22 weeks to the full term of 40. That entire 18 week period represents almost half of the pregnancy. Of all the abortions performed, only 1.2% fall into that 18 week period. And almost all abortions after 30 weeks are because the fetus is literally dead.
In case you are wondering, inducing a preterm labor where the life of the infant or the mother is not endanger and the baby does not survive is technically an abortion. (Oddly enough, if the baby is already deceased, then it’s life is not technically in danger.) Actually, it is still an abortion if only the mother’s life is in question. It means, statistically, that inducing labor for a mother whose baby has died in the womb rather than waiting for a natural labor or the pregnancy to be full term is an abortion. And this scenario is by far the vast majority of abortions after 30 weeks. Also, another large segment of that 1.2% are women who have become toxic and will die and the babies are not yet viable, whose lungs or organs are not developed enough to survive. Yes, you’ve heard about them saving preemie babies, but not all can be saved. It is a very sad reality.
And then, another big chunk of that 1.2% happen as a result of the 20 week ultrasound, which discovered the fetus was not viable. A mother’s womb has an amazing ability to provide for an infant what it cannot do for itself. It can support birth defects which the child cannot survive once born. Parents typically will want at least a second opinion, an amniocentesis and even a placenta sample to confirm the diagnosis before making a decision. That can easily take a couple of weeks just to verify they have all the facts, and then they must act upon that and make a decision.
The most devastating and sad reality is that most abortions performed after 22 weeks are not for unwanted pregnancies. Of course, there are some, but you are getting into microscopic percentages. Laws which have been enacted to prohibit any type of abortion after 22 weeks unless the mother’s life is endangered, force parents to endure their tragedy much longer than necessary. They cannot heal; they cannot mourn their loss. It is cruel to force women to carry these fetuses to term knowing there will be no happiness, only more pain.
But Donald Trump wants you to believe anyone who has an abortion is just a baby killer. He attempted to paint abortion in the most cruel and horrible way, without any bearing on reality, and portray these women who have late term abortions as demented, sadistic murderers.
But that does not represent the truth. It does not tell people that almost all of the babies were wanted and loved. It fails to convey the horror and heartbreak a mother feels when she knows she cannot save her child. It completely ignores the trauma and pain in making that decision which can never be completely healed. Almost all of these babies are dearly loved, and Donald Trump is painting grieving parents as villains.
A woman’s right to her reproductive health is vital. Please, vote.
We are One Woman, One World.
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The most recent and cumulative reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) Data and Statistics were used as reference for statistical facts. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/
*This article was revised to include citation and link to the CDC.