Late Term Abortion

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Stop Murdering the Defenseless

In most states in our nation today abortion is illegal when the fetus becomes a viable human being, meaning that it can survive outside of its mother's womb. This is often referred to as a late-term abortion, which usually occurs between the 24th and 28th weeks of a pregnancy. One of the problems associated with the ban on late term abortions in the United States is that viability is not defined. That is, there is no set week of gestation where a fetus is said to be viable. Late term abortions are performed for several reasons: sometimes the woman was not aware she was pregnant until the third trimester, some fetal abnormalities can not be detected until late in pregnancy, a mother may become too ill to carry her baby to term or sometimes it is just a choice the woman may make that for some reason or another she does not wish to continue on with the pregnancy. Although according to Susan Dwyer, a professor of philosophy and author of many books, late or third-trimester abortions "account for less than one percent of all pregnancies terminated in the United States, about six hundred per year" (56), the process of late term abortion, the emotional and physical pain suffered by the mother and the pain experienced by the baby is completely inhumane and must be banned completely. Third-trimester or late-term abortions are usually procedures that take two to three days to complete. The abortion itself is performed on the second or third day once the cervix has dilated wide enough to ensure that the fetus can be safely extracted or expelled. In most cases, fetal demise occurs the first day of laminaria insertion, being "a cone of dried seaweed that swells as it absorbs water and thus dilates the cervix non-traumatically in preparation for induced abortion or induced labor" (Dwyer 89). The drugs that are used during this procedure are digoxin and lidocaine, which are inserted directly into the uterus. Once dilation is complete,...
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