Evangelist Franklin Graham Admits He Doesn’t Understand Why Women Need Late-Term Abortions, Doctors Explain Why To CNN
Evangelist Franklin Graham admitted on Facebook that he didn’t understand why women need late-term abortions: “I can’t understand for the life of me why the Democratic Party is pushing legislation that allows late-term abortions.”
Graham made no actual scientific inquiry into late-term abortions, but told Christians to “PRAY” against proposed laws that would allow these medical procedures in Virginia and Vermont.
The phrase “late-term abortion” is medically inaccurate and has no clinical meaning. In science and medicine, it’s essential to use language precisely. In pregnancy, to be “late term” means to be past 41 weeks gestation, or past a patient’s due date. Abortions do not occur in this time period, so the phrase is contradictory.
Dr. Jennifer Conti explained how these procedures are rare:
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, abortions after 21 weeks make up less than 1.3% of all abortions in the United States. This means that abortions that occur beyond 24 weeks make up less than 1% of all procedures.
Levy explained why abortions happen later in a pregnancy:
Abortions later in pregnancy typically occur because of two general indications: lethal fetal anomalies or threats to the health of the mother. Some fetal development problems or genetic anomalies do not show up or develop until later in pregnancy.
Some examples might include anencephaly (described above) or limb-body wall complex, when the organs develop outside of the body cavity. With conditions like these, the fetus cannot survive out of the uterus.
Likewise, when conditions progress or appear that severely compromise a woman’s health or life, abortion may be the safest, medically indicated procedure. These conditions can also reduce the possibility of fetal survival.
They might include premature rupture of membranes (where the fluid surrounding the fetus is lost before labor), uterine infection, preeclampsia, placental abruption and placenta accreta.
Women under these circumstances may have extensive blood loss or septic shock that can be fatal. It’s important to note, if a woman’s health or life is at risk and the fetus is viable, delivery is pursued, not abortion.
In the case of either lethal fetal anomalies or complications that endanger a woman’s life, it’s essential that women and their physicians are able to consider the full range of appropriate treatments, whether that’s abortion care, induction of labor or cesarean birth.
Every pregnant woman’s situation and medical condition are different, and there is no way to make a one-size-fits-all determination about the appropriate care. No matter what, care must be compassionate and recognize that for many women, the choices they are facing are devastating and immensely complicated.