A gynecologist educates everyone about late-term abortions in an important Twitter thread
Last week, New York state passed a law to protect women’s rights to abortion in case Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, also allows abortions to be performed after twenty-four weeks if the fetus isn’t viable or the woman’s health is in danger.
“Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion,” Cuomo says. “With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body,”
This news was upsetting to some people in the pro-life camp – and, in turn, a gynecologist named Jennifer Gunter took to Twitter to explain the realities behind late-term abortions. It is imperative that everyone understand women are not requesting these abortions because they just don’t want to have a baby. It’s because they or the fetus are experiencing serious, often heartbreaking medical complications.
“I’ve done abortions after 24 weeks,” Gunter began. “For several years I lived in a state with no gestational age limit. I have never done one that was not medically indicated. I was never approached by any woman to do a non medically indicated abortion.”
She explained that these abortions are very rare, very expensive, and are not done on a “whim.” They were done because of issues with the fetus or a woman’s health. Also, the only late-term abortion case Gunter could think of that didn’t involve one of those exceptions was when a woman was raped by her brother.
Gunter broke down some of the complications that would prompt a woman to request a late-term abortion.
At twenty-five weeks, there could be a “severe growth restriction” and the fetus wouldn’t be able to survive. At thirty-two weeks, a woman might choose an early induction – which is technically classified as an abortion.
There are also times that a woman needs a dilation and evacuation procedure in order to give birth. “Sometimes hypertension in pregnancy is so bad that a 26-week fetus is the size of one that is 19 weeks,” Gunter wrote. “The mother is literally dying from her high blood pressure. The D and E may be safer and faster. Your patient is counseled by neonatology and OB and then she makes a choice.”
Gunter noted that a person who has never consulted with a patient about a late-term abortion has “zero credibility to discuss the procedure.”
She also added that women have to go through some traumatic horrors while pregnant. “A doctor, a especially an OB/GYN, with no empathy or medical understanding of these situations?” she wrote. “That is frightening.”
Think about the effects this decision and procedure can have on a mother’s mental health: studies show PTSD is a major possibility. To assume any mother who chooses a late-term abortion is making the decision lightly is cruel and uninformed.
Well, there you have it. Here’s hoping people who are against late-term abortions – at the very least – come away from this thread with the understanding that there are serious medical complications that force women to make this heart-wrenching decision. And that it is never, ever an easy one.