LATE TERM ABORTION PROVIDERS
There are only a small number of Late Term Abortion Providers in the United States at this time. Late Term Abortion needs to be clarified as there are multiple definitions being used for late term from 13 weeks up to 28 weeks when a late term begins. For this discussion, I want to define late term abortion as beginning at 21 weeks or more. Approximately 1% of abortions occur after this particular length of pregnancy. The reason for abortion occurring after 21 weeks of pregnancy is numerous. See Late Term Abortion United States.
Late Term Abortion Providers perform the same abortion procedure, but it occurs at a further length in the pregnancy. Performing a late second or third trimester abortion is similar to performing an abortion that is done earlier in pregnancy. The most important aspect is to assure that the cervix is adequately prepared (softening and opening) for the procedure to be performed in a safe and efficient manner. In addition, the viability of the fetus needs to be addressed which has generally taken place before the patient is referred to our offices. It has usually been determined that the genetic fetal defects or abnormalities are incompatible with life, or the mother's life or health is so jeopardized, that ending the pregnancy outweighs the risks of the pregnancy continuing.
Despite the fact that the patient's personal physician, the patient, and abortion provider all agree that the termination is in the best interest of the mother's health, there is much controversy from organizations, politicians, certain religious sectors, legislators, and other governmental entities which individuals hide behind. They do not want or believe that women should have the right to make their decision to end a pregnancy that ultimately could be detrimental to her health. It is understood that the 9th amendment of the United States Constitution allows us to exercise this freedom. One of the most important freedoms we have is the freedom of making the decision of how our bodies are treated. Men and women make the decision to poison their bodies with tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even legal drugs such as chemotherapy drugs to possibly extend their life a few weeks to months (though side effects kill people on a daily basis) but there is no contention from anyone regarding the use of these toxic drugs that have a high probability of harm. Yet when it comes to a woman being able to save her life due to medical complications she has or fetal abnormalities or deformities that are incompatible with life, other people and the government want to try and make decisions that prevent a woman from exercising her right.
Abortions performed up to 15 to 16 weeks can be performed surgically using the suction dilation and curettage procedure which is described elsewhere. Past 16 weeks, the procedure can be performed essentially in one of two ways: 1) dilation and evacuation, and 2) labor-induction abortion which involve the use of cytotec and or oxytocin. After 21 weeks of pregnancy an intra-cardiac injection is performed using either procedure mentioned above to prevent the possibility of a live birth.
In a D&E, the doctor uses laminaria and cytotec which help to soften and open the cervix followed by extracting of the fetus using special surgical instruments. The cervix needs to be adequately dilated (opened) to prevent the surgical instruments or fetal body parts from damaging the uterus, cervix, bladder, or bowel of the mother. The procedure can be technically challenging unless the physician has the experience to perform this procedure on late term pregnancies. Doctors who have little to no experience, or due to the political climate in which they work, send patients who are further in pregnancy to the few physicians who have the knowledge and experience to perform these advanced procedures.
When labor is induced, the delivery usually takes place within 12 to 24 hours. The induction process in an outpatient setting has been found to be extremely safe and efficient. Even though physicians are able to induce labor on patients, politics in hospitals or the hospital will just not allow an abortion to be performed. More hospitals are being bought out by religious affiliations and often the first thing they wish to accomplish to ban birth control and abortion.
Different states vary in their definition of abortion and how far a patient can be pregnant before they will not allow the abortion to occur; whether or not the abortion is performed in a hospital or outside the hospital, which are all done in the name of safety and welfare for patients when in reality they are all steps to prevent abortions from being carried out. When a patient cannot find a hospital that performs a late term abortion, or there is an ethical or moral board that only meets once a month to determine whether or not they are going to allow an abortion to take place in the hospital, or even finding a physician to perform the abortion in the hospital and finding a medical staff in the hospital since they can refuse to participate in an abortion, are all things that women have to face when they wanting to have a therapeutic abortion. Much less the high probability of coming up with some reason for the State or Federal Government to attempt to prosecute a physician with multiple unfounded legal allegations.
We are one of the few late term abortion providers that remain in the United States and we are here to help women in one of the most difficult times in their lives.