Clearing Up “Late Term Abortion”

There have been several articles and vignettes out today following Donald Trump’s inaccurate description and characterization of late-term abortions. I offer this Forbes article as a succinct refutation of Donald Trump’s misinformation and clarification of what the term actually means and entails.

Just to summarize what Hillary Clinton stated last night – she made clear that she would defend a woman’s right to make the very difficult choice of abortion, including late-term abortions when the mother’s life is in danger and/or there is a fatal defect in the fetus. She also made clear that abortions in the third trimester are specifically restricted to such life-threatening scenarios in most states, and that she has no intent of changing those restrictions.

Trump’s description of killing a fully viable baby the day before it is due is pure fantasy. It also exposes a common mischaracterization of women who choose abortion as being cavalier about the whole affair, as if abortions are something people just decide to have on a whim. This is a cruel and ridiculous lie. The people who have to make these choices go through heart-wrenching deliberations beforehand. They do not deserve to be vilified.

I understand how contentious the issue of abortion is for people. I do not think it is an easy choice for anyone to have to make, and I think it would be great if no one ever had to make such a choice. It is unfair though to characterize those who face such hard decisions as emotionless monsters, and it is cruel to assert that a woman has to carry to full term a fetus that will not survive on its own outside the womb or that threatens the mother’s own life. Women are not simply baby incubators. The option for late-term abortions exists for the safety of the mother in the most dire and emotionally taxing circumstances. Rather than demonize, we should empathize.