Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen tweeted a big fat one Tuesday, alleging that late-term abortions are both “rare” and only performed in cases of extreme fetal anomalies or when the life of the mother is threatened.
The truth is the very rare cases when abortion happens after 24 weeks is because something in the pregnancy has gone very wrong: a woman's life & health is in danger, there are severe fetal anomalies, or other devastating medical complications.— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) March 19, 2019
And on both counts, the lie detector test determined: that was a lie.
Let’s break down Wen’s claim using actual facts: firstly, the claim that late-term abortions are “rare.”
While not nearly as common as early abortions performed in the first trimester, abortions performed at or after 24 weeks are hardly "rare." In fact, the CDC estimates that roughly 13,000 of these late-term abortions are performed in the United States every single year. That’s enough unborn babies to fill up about half the L.A. Chargers football stadium.
For kicks, let's compare that to something many abortion advocates don't think of as "rare."
The FBI estimates that an average of 13,246 people were murdered using a firearm each year between 2012 and 2016. That's roughly the same number of babies killed in late-term abortions. But that hasn't stopped the left, which categorically promotes both expanded access to abortion and gun control as cornerstones of their platform, from regularly portraying gun violence as a widespread epidemic - despite having nearly the exact same rate of occurrence.
Secondly, we have Wen’s planet-sized whopper that late-term abortions performed beyond the point of viability are only done “because something in the pregnancy has gone very wrong: a woman's life & health is in danger, there are severe fetal anomalies, or other devastating medical complications.”
This is simply, factually, and provably false.
In fact, examples of documented cases of women who’ve sought late-term abortions for non-medical reasons are plentiful enough, and reachable by anyone with an internet connection and the ability to type "Google."
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Instead, look no further than the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which published a study in 2013 breaking down the general profile of women who seek abortions after 20 weeks. The group found that the 272 women surveyed typically fell into one or more of five basic categories: “They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”
The Guttmacher Institute also found that women were more likely to have late-term abortions if they found out they were expecting later into their pregnancy, or had trouble saving up money for an abortion or making travel arrangements earlier on.
Not once in their survey or its analysis did the Guttmacher Institute list medical emergencies, fetal anomalies or the mother’s physical complications to be top causes for women seeking late-term abortions.
Similarly, in a Vox article arguing for abortion, abortionist Kristyn Brandi admits that some of her patients show up for abortions later in pregnancy because they had trouble finding the money, transportation, or child care to get there sooner. One of her patients had trouble scraping her bus fare together. Another showed up because she’d had a serious medical complication in her last pregnancy and simply didn’t want to risk going through the same thing.
Neither was medically necessary. Neither involved the life of the mother or an unhealthy baby. Both were by choice.
The basic facts on abortions later in pregnancy are very simple, and they aren’t hard to find.
Some women seek late-term abortions after being told that their child will be born with a condition that could make life outside the womb difficult or even impossible.
Many women seek late-term abortions entirely by choice.
And anyone who claims otherwise is lying.