We asked our followers on social media: “Is a third trimester abortion more immoral than a first trimester abortion? Why or why not?” Here are a few of the top responses in no particular order.
Stephanie T.: They are equally immoral, but I think sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking they’re not because a first trimester baby doesn’t look as much like a newborn, so it’s considerably easier to gaslight oneself into believing it’s not as bad.
Kathleen C.: Absolutely, the child definitely feels pain later in the pregnancy, so you are not only taking its life, it suffers through being torn or cut apart and bleeding to death. While I am against all abortions, the late term ones bother me so much more.
Susan S.: No. Regardless when abortions occur, all needlessly destroy a human being. That the child feels pain as it is being ripped to pieces makes third trimester abortions even more barbaric but no less immoral.
Kyle B.: From the viewpoint of the child both outcomes are the same. However since third trimester abortions are far riskier and deadlier to the mother than first trimester abortions, I would say third trimester abortions are worse simply because the odds of having two deaths versus one are much higher. Both are still unethical, but I would prefer one over the other if I had to pick.
Lorena N.: I don’t like the question. It’s like picking whether you want to be killed by being shot in the head or drowned. Most of us will pick one over the other knowing we’d all just rather not pick any.
Sydney-Angelle B.: They are equally immoral. The woman who gets a later abortion is more culpable, however. Not only because we can assume she is well aware the fetus is a human person, but because at that stage the difference between an abortion and delivery is negligible. While a woman who gets a first trimester abortion may simply not want to be pregnant, one who gets a third trimester abortion wants a dead child. The intent is more vile. But intent and act are separate things. And the acts are equally immoral.
Christopher A.: Is it more immoral to kill an adult by torturing them in the most excruciating way for hours before letting them die than to kill them with a quick shot to the head that ends their life instantly whilst they were unaware? I see a parallel here. They are both immoral yet the acts are different in their immorality.
Katarzyna W.: Is killing a 30-year-old more immoral than killing a 35-year-old? Why or why not?
Maggie M.: Both are equally immoral because they both involve the deliberate killing of a living human being – but 3rd trimester is more brutal (in method) because of the suffering and horrendous butchery involved, and because the child is fully conscious, fully ‘viable’ but defenceless.
Jeanine R.: Not in my opinion, a human life is a human life no matter what stage, so, to take the life of an innocent at any point is immoral.
Candace R.: I’m more frustrated and heartbroken over the third trimester abortion because the pregnancy could have been ended with a live birth. There are humans the same gestational age who have been born and survived, even thrived. You can’t possibly believe that a third trimester fetus is just a clump of cells when they are already fully formed and even interacting with stimuli and learning language. It’s not a matter of being uninformed or not understanding who is or is not a human. It’s an intentional killing when other options are available.
Nancy D.: The line is crossed at the moment of conception, but the suffering is worse as days and months go on.
Kate S.: I think it is certainly harder to stomach but no, abortion is immoral no matter the gestational age.