Melissa Block with NPR spoke to Dr. Diane Horvath and Morgan Nuzzo about the clinic they are opening in Maryland, “Partners in Abortion Care.” Calling it an “all trimester” clinic, the article specifies
When it opens sometime after Labor Day, Partners in Abortion Care will be one of only a handful of clinics in the United States that offer abortions into the third trimester — in this case, up to 34 weeks’ gestation. A full-term pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks.
Most people believe late-term abortion (here referring to abortion at or after 21 weeks) is not only very rare, but also done exclusively (or nearly exclusively) for medical emergencies such as if the woman’s life is threatened or the fetus has a fatal anomaly. Pro-choicers repeat this talking point ad nauseum, despite the evidence suggesting otherwise. And when major news outlets address the issue of later abortion at all, they usually also imply it’s done primarily in severe medical situations. So I was surprised to see NPR candidly acknowledge that’s not actually the case:
When their all-trimester clinic opens, Horvath and Nuzzo expect to treat perhaps 10 people each week. It could be someone whose fetus has serious anomalies, which are often only discovered later in pregnancy. It could be a patient whose continued pregnancy threatens their health. It could be someone who didn’t discover they were pregnant until after the first trimester.
Block goes on to explain additional reasons women seek later abortions: they may lack the time and resources for earlier abortions, and now there are more places around the country that restrict access very early. Block does not specifically mention (but research also shows) that some women also seek later abortion because they struggled to decide whether they wanted to abort.
This article serves as another data point suggesting that the idea that late-term abortions only happen for medical emergencies is a myth.