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` Ignoring Threats, Doctors Do Third-Trimester Abortions

 

 

'After Tiller': Ignoring Threats, Doctors Do Third-Trimester Abortions

PHOTO: (Clockwise from top left) Dr. Robinson, Dr. Sella, Dr. Carhart, Dr. Hern acknowledge publicly that they provide third-trimester abortions.
 
(Clockwise from top left) Drs. Susan Robinson, Shelley Sella, LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern acknowledge publicly that they provide third-trimester abortions. (After Tiller)
 

By NANCY RAMSEY
Jan. 21, 2013

 

 

Spend 10 minutes on the phone with Dr. Susan Robinson, an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in providing women with third-trimester abortions, and the name Aron Ralston will invariably come up. He's the mountain climber who was trapped in a canyon in Utah after a boulder crushed his right hand. He was pinned down by the boulder for five days (the film "127 Hours" is based on his story) until he realized the only way he could get free would be to cut off his hand.

 

It's a graphic, horrific image, but Robinson says it's the best analogy she can think of to describe women who are pregnant in their third trimester and "have thought about it deeply, consulted their conscience, wrestled with the ethics, and decided the best thing for themselves and their families is to have an abortion."

 

"People think you choose an abortion like you choose red or green shoes, or a flavor of ice cream," Robinson told ABC News. "But in fact, they [the women I see] need an abortion the way Aron Ralston needed to cut his hand off."

 

Robinson is one of four doctors featured in the documentary "After Tiller," which screened at the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend. "A#Sundance first: security guards checking bags and wanding people before abortion documentary 'After Tiller,'" tweeted Sean Means, movie critic for The Salt Lake Tribune.

 

(Clockwise from top left) Drs. Susan... View Full Size
PHOTO: (Clockwise from top left) Dr. Robinson, Dr. Sella, Dr. Carhart, Dr. Hern acknowledge publicly that they provide third-trimester abortions.
After Tiller
(Clockwise from top left) Drs. Susan Robinson, Shelley Sella, LeRoy Carhart, Warren Hern acknowledge publicly that they provide third-trimester abortions.
 
 
 
Against Abortion, Ann Romney Calls It a 'Tender Issue' Watch Video

The film takes its name from Dr. George Tiller, a third-trimester abortion provider in Wichita, Kan., who was assassinated in May 2009 while attending church. Robinson worked with Tiller, as did Shelley Sella, who worked as a midwife before becoming a doctor and abortion provider, and is also featured in the film. The two now operate out of a clinic in Albuquerque.

 

"We learned at his knee," said Robinson, speaking of Tiller. "Kindness, courtesy, justice, love and respect are the hallmarks of a good doctor-patient relationship. People tell me every single day, 'Dr. Robinson, you've given me my life back.' For these women it is life or death. Many women try to self-abort. The less available it is, the poor will have the hardest time."

 

A Red-Hot Issue

 

If abortion is a hot-button political issue, then third-trimester abortion is red-hot, and such words as "kindness" and "respect" are not two that leap to mind for many people. The arrest two years ago of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell, accused of killing a woman with a lethal dose of Demerol, put a gruesome face on doctors performing third-trimester abortions. Police, searching his office, found what prosecutors called "a house of horrors," bags and bottles of aborted fetuses scattered throughout the building, a place where fetuses were delivered live and then killed with scissors.

 

Even many supporters of abortion rights draw a line at third-trimester abortions. A 2011 Gallup poll showed that making abortion illegal in the last trimester got strong support from both pro-choice (79 percent) and pro-life advocates (94 percent). Laws passed in 41 states prohibit abortions, except to protect the woman's life, after a certain point in the pregnancy, usually fetal viability (about 24 weeks). In the U.S., 88 percent of abortions are done in the first 12 weeks, according to the Guttmacher Institute; fewer than 1 percent are in the third trimester.

 

by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 8:32 AM
Replies (41-50):
romalove
by Roma on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM


Quoting GLWerth:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:

deciding to have an abortion in the tird trimester, after you find out that the baby may have 'non-fixable' defects and don't want the child to 'suffer' are using an abortion to opt out of having to deal with the isuues a severely handicapped child would bring.  Saying you 'don't want the child to suffer' is an outright lie... YOU don't want to suffer with trying to take care of said child.  I am pro abortion, but only in the first few weeks... with todays methods, you know if you're pregnant within the first 8 weeks... waiting until you are over 24 weeks is cruel, gutless and heartless.  I can't believe people find out about a life threatening condition for themselves after all this time of being pregnant.

I personally know two women who were diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies, one at 17 weeks, one at 23.  Both of them refused to end their pregnancies in order to be treated and both died.

I can add two more to that from people I've known.

One more decided that her other children needed her and terminated her pregnancy at 22 weeks, to start chemotherapy. She's still alive now. The others are gone, leaving five children between the two of them.


My friend across the street's husband died of a brain tumor.  She met her new husband at grief group.  He lost his wife to breast cancer, diagnosed while pregnant with their son.  Very very disturbing and heartbreaking.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM


Quoting radioheid:

 Once you reach the third trimester, you're carrying a baby. Period. And to kill a baby is murder. End of story. There is absolutely no excuse. These people are professional murderers.

How far into the article did you read? 


Quote:

These are babies that have congenital abnormalities that are incompatible with life -- no hope, no brain, no kidneys, something that is not surgically fixable."





Quote:


The husband and wife want to spare their baby whatever suffering that baby would have."





cherylam
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM



Quoting jaxTheMomm:

These people are life-saving physicians, who have dedicated themselves to being there when a woman is in the most tragic of circumstances.

Third trimester abortion is a horrible thing - especially because by that time you are talking about a much wanted pregnancy that has gone very wrong. 

Because of the negative publicity, very few physicians will take the specialized training and do this.  So there aren't many around.  What would happen to these mothers without these doctors??

NOTHING is more scarring than to be told the baby you are carrying won't survive or worse, the pregnancy may kill you.

To call these people murderers is heartless and I'm sorry, ignorant.  They risk their very lives to ensure that there's still a doctor around that can do this.

Quoting radioheid:

 Once you reach the third trimester, you're carrying a baby. Period. And to kill a baby is murder. End of story. There is absolutely no excuse. These people are professional murderers.




But you see, there IS a differance.  Aborting that late in a pregnancy to save the mothers life is understandable.  Cancer treatments? Understandable.  But to abort that late because the pregnancy has revealed a child may be born with defects is wrong.  That child, even with severe defects, never asked to be born, but deserves a chance.  Considering aborting that late, after 24 weeks, involves labor and delivery, only of a dead child is horrible.  There have been many stories of women gettng that far along and after breaking up with the father, decide to abort rather than have a child they no longer want.  How common?  Who knows.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM


Quoting LoganTroyMom:

How is it any different than an 8 week developed baby? Is a woman only a little pregnant for the first few months? it's still in her body. her body her choice right?

abortion is wrong at any stage of development. to say otherwise is dehumanizing and hypocritical.

you said it yourself- to kill a baby is murder. a newly developing baby is no less a baby than one at 28 weeks. we are not- should not be, rather- a community that judges the right to live on how closely one reselmbles an "ideal" person.


Quoting radioheid:

 Once you reach the third trimester, you're carrying a baby. Period. And to kill a baby is murder. End of story. There is absolutely no excuse. These people are professional murderers.

How developed is an 8 week developed baby?

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

This is an extremely poorly written article especially for this group, because many people here do not read past one or two paragraphs.

cherylam
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:

deciding to have an abortion in the tird trimester, after you find out that the baby may have 'non-fixable' defects and don't want the child to 'suffer' are using an abortion to opt out of having to deal with the isuues a severely handicapped child would bring.  Saying you 'don't want the child to suffer' is an outright lie... YOU don't want to suffer with trying to take care of said child.  I am pro abortion, but only in the first few weeks... with todays methods, you know if you're pregnant within the first 8 weeks... waiting until you are over 24 weeks is cruel, gutless and heartless.  I can't believe people find out about a life threatening condition for themselves after all this time of being pregnant.

I personally know two women who were diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies, one at 17 weeks, one at 23.  Both of them refused to end their pregnancies in order to be treated and both died.

And it was their choice, but I would think, and know a quite a few OB/GYN's, who test for everything under the sun at the very beginning of a pregnancy.  Having something like that is one thing, but choosing to abort after 24 weeks because of inconvenience, changing your mind about being pregnant, or worse, deciding that since the expected child might be less than perfect is just plain wrong.


futureshock
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I support Roe, and this is what it says:


Quote:

Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 case legalizing abortion, made fetal viability an important legal concept. The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot put the interests of a fetus ahead of the interests of the pregnant woman until the fetus is "viable." The court defined viable to mean capable of prolonged life outside the mother's womb. It said this included fetuses that doctors expected to be sustained by respirators. The court accepted the conventional medical wisdom that a fetus becomes viable at the start of the last third of a pregnancy, the third trimester, sometime between the 24th and 28th week (a pregnancy usually lasts 38 weeks). Because the point of viability varies, the court ruled, it could only be determined case by case and by the woman's own doctor. Even if the fetus is viable, the court said, states could not outlaw an abortion if the woman's life or health was at stake.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_gist/1997/05/fetal_viability.html


Quote:

According to ROE, at the point of fetal viability (when the fetus has the capacity for sustained survival outside the uterus), the state's interest in protecting potential life becomes compelling, and the state may proscribe (ban) abortion, except when necessary to preserve the woman's life or health. In PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL MISSOURI V. DANFORTH(1) (1976) and COLAUTTI V. FRANKLIN(2) (1979), the Supreme Court made clear that viability is a medical determination, which varies with each pregnancy, and that it is the responsibility of the attending physician to make that determination


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5758875




Quote:


Myth 2: American women are able to have legal abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy in all 50 states.
Fact: That wasn’t true when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973 and it’s not true now. In Roe, the court ruled that women have a right to abortion during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and the state cannot restrict the procedure. In the third trimester, which encompasses the period after the point of fetal viability, the state may prohibit abortion as long as it is still permitted if the life or health of the mother is at risk. However, in the 2007 case Gonzales v. Carhart,  the Court upheld a federal ban on second-trimester abortions even though the law did not contain an exception [PDF] in cases when the women’s health is in danger, thus signaling their willingness to further restrict abortion access.
http://msmagazine.com/blog/2010/04/23/10-worst-abortion-myths-and-how-to-refute-them/


romalove
by Roma on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM


Quoting cherylam:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:

deciding to have an abortion in the tird trimester, after you find out that the baby may have 'non-fixable' defects and don't want the child to 'suffer' are using an abortion to opt out of having to deal with the isuues a severely handicapped child would bring.  Saying you 'don't want the child to suffer' is an outright lie... YOU don't want to suffer with trying to take care of said child.  I am pro abortion, but only in the first few weeks... with todays methods, you know if you're pregnant within the first 8 weeks... waiting until you are over 24 weeks is cruel, gutless and heartless.  I can't believe people find out about a life threatening condition for themselves after all this time of being pregnant.

I personally know two women who were diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies, one at 17 weeks, one at 23.  Both of them refused to end their pregnancies in order to be treated and both died.

And it was their choice, but I would think, and know a quite a few OB/GYN's, who test for everything under the sun at the very beginning of a pregnancy.  Having something like that is one thing, but choosing to abort after 24 weeks because of inconvenience, changing your mind about being pregnant, or worse, deciding that since the expected child might be less than perfect is just plain wrong.


Yes.

They chose life for their babies at the expense of their own lives.

I am glad they had choice while sad that they both couldn't live.

I have three kids.  If I was in their shoes I might have made a different decision, not to leave my children motherless.

I don't think most women are aborting after time of viability for convenience, as it is against the law.

cherylam
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:27 PM



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:

deciding to have an abortion in the tird trimester, after you find out that the baby may have 'non-fixable' defects and don't want the child to 'suffer' are using an abortion to opt out of having to deal with the isuues a severely handicapped child would bring.  Saying you 'don't want the child to suffer' is an outright lie... YOU don't want to suffer with trying to take care of said child.  I am pro abortion, but only in the first few weeks... with todays methods, you know if you're pregnant within the first 8 weeks... waiting until you are over 24 weeks is cruel, gutless and heartless.  I can't believe people find out about a life threatening condition for themselves after all this time of being pregnant.

I personally know two women who were diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies, one at 17 weeks, one at 23.  Both of them refused to end their pregnancies in order to be treated and both died.

And it was their choice, but I would think, and know a quite a few OB/GYN's, who test for everything under the sun at the very beginning of a pregnancy.  Having something like that is one thing, but choosing to abort after 24 weeks because of inconvenience, changing your mind about being pregnant, or worse, deciding that since the expected child might be less than perfect is just plain wrong.


Yes.

They chose life for their babies at the expense of their own lives.

I am glad they had choice while sad that they both couldn't live.

I have three kids.  If I was in their shoes I might have made a different decision, not to leave my children motherless.

I don't think most women are aborting after time of viability for convenience, as it is against the law.


Agreed.  I am sorry your friends died.... sometimes we think we can beat the odds and are invincible, and sadly, we aren't.

romalove
by Roma on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM


Quoting cherylam:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting cherylam:

deciding to have an abortion in the tird trimester, after you find out that the baby may have 'non-fixable' defects and don't want the child to 'suffer' are using an abortion to opt out of having to deal with the isuues a severely handicapped child would bring.  Saying you 'don't want the child to suffer' is an outright lie... YOU don't want to suffer with trying to take care of said child.  I am pro abortion, but only in the first few weeks... with todays methods, you know if you're pregnant within the first 8 weeks... waiting until you are over 24 weeks is cruel, gutless and heartless.  I can't believe people find out about a life threatening condition for themselves after all this time of being pregnant.

I personally know two women who were diagnosed with cancer during their pregnancies, one at 17 weeks, one at 23.  Both of them refused to end their pregnancies in order to be treated and both died.

And it was their choice, but I would think, and know a quite a few OB/GYN's, who test for everything under the sun at the very beginning of a pregnancy.  Having something like that is one thing, but choosing to abort after 24 weeks because of inconvenience, changing your mind about being pregnant, or worse, deciding that since the expected child might be less than perfect is just plain wrong.


Yes.

They chose life for their babies at the expense of their own lives.

I am glad they had choice while sad that they both couldn't live.

I have three kids.  If I was in their shoes I might have made a different decision, not to leave my children motherless.

I don't think most women are aborting after time of viability for convenience, as it is against the law.


Agreed.  I am sorry your friends died.... sometimes we think we can beat the odds and are invincible, and sadly, we aren't.

Thanks.  

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