In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court said states could ban abortion at the point of viability. Not all of them do: New Mexico’s Southwestern Women’s Options offers abortions through 32 weeks. Dr. Anthony Levatino has performed over 1200 abortions, and in the video below, he explains what a third trimester abortion involves. As you listen to his description, keep in mind that there’s evidence a fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks.
However, most states restrict abortion after 24 weeks; for Diane Greene Foster, that’s a problem.
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Foster is a professor at University of California, San Francisco, and she completed a study on women who were refused abortion on the grounds that they were too far along. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, it found that “they experience negative economic consequences – poverty.” As Greene puts it, “When they receive an abortion, they slowly gain employment, and their income goes up. But when they’re denied an abortion, they’re set back economically, and it takes them years to get where they would have been if they had received an abortion.” Thus, she believes that making abortion available at any point is “exactly right on.”
Upon reading this, a few thoughts jump out. One is that if economics justify killing your child at 6 months, shouldn’t they justify it at birth, too? After all, Gianna Jessen was delivered during a botched late-term abortion, and it seems strange that killing her could have been an expression of “reproductive rights” at one end of the birth canal but murder at the other.
The second is this argument rests on a false choice: have an abortion or a baby or you can’t afford. What’s left out? The fact that even if you’re not in a position to raise your child, plenty of people are. And they aren’t hard to find.
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Couples seeking to adopt outnumber available infants, with the website Adoption.com allowing those who have been approved by a licensed adoption agency to create a profile. Typically interested in open adoption, prospective parents can be searched by location, family size, religion, or other factors. Some wish to involve biological grandparents, and many will help with the costs of pregnancy.
Additional assistance is available from pregnancy care centers. If you need help finding one in your area, visit Optionline.org or text “HELPLINE” to 313131. One of the largest care center networks is called Care-Net, with affiliates offering information and material support.
Rachel K. Jones is a sociologist with the Guttmacher Institute who agrees with Foster’s findings. According to her, “Making abortion more accessible and affordable – for example, by requiring Medicaid and all government and private insurance plans to cover abortion – could help women better take care of the children they already have and have children when they are ready to do so.” By that logic, so would infanticide. And while she insists that women “are the best judges of their own circumstances,” she doesn’t seem too interested in letting them know their options. The good news? The rest of us can.
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