maciymommieof3
` Ignoring Threats, Doctors Do Third-Trimester Abortions
January 21, 2013 at 8:32 AM

 

 

'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.
 
 
 
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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.

 

Replies

  • radioheid
    January 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM

     I've had two children myself. I have an 8-year old son, whom I was strongly encouraged by virtually everyone outside of my family to abort, and I had a daughter who would be 3 next month, had she not died as an infant. I have also had two miscarriages. So I am very familiar with the "circle of life", from every angle.

    I was upset by one of my miscarriages, because I wanted a baby with my husband. The other miscarriage---honestly, I was relieved. I wouldn't have aborted had it not miscarried, but I did not want to have a baby at that point in my life, so I understand why people choose to have abortions. I totally get it.

    And yes, that IS the point---ending the life before it has any sense of awareness, any feelings, before it can feel pain. It is the humane choice, if someone so strongly doesn't want to be pregnant that they would choose to remove an embryo or fetus from their body before it can survive.

    Quoting LoganTroyMom:

    the difference is that baby has not had the right to live at all, and in contrast of being in a vegitative state, the most likely outcome is a healthy newborn, NOT the same.

    i used to be pro choice, and my opinion has evolved due to years of debates and research, as well as having children.

    killing a baby before the time of viability is simply beating it to the punchline. yeah, kill it before it has ANY chance. totally humane.


    Quoting radioheid:

     I disagree. As I explained in another post dealing with the life of a fetus, up until the point of viability (typically around 24 weeks), and particularly at an early stage of development, an embryo/fetus is very similar to a person in a vegetative state on total life support. We don't condemn families for choosing to remove such people from life support, despite the fact that eventually that person *may* recover, nor do we accuse the medical professionals who remove said persons from life support to be "murderers". This is exactly how I feel about abortions before the point of viability. It is human, yes, and very technically alive, however, said embryo or fetus requires constant life support in order to stand any chance at all of surviving, and I refuse to condemn people who choose to remove that life support.


    Once that person has reached a point that he or she can survive on his or her own, I feel they are deserving of every protection afforded to a person, including the basic right to life, including food and medical/supportive care.


    Thus, I draw the line at viability.


    *As a matter of record, I have never had an abortion. My family is very pro-life, with me being the exception. In fact, my twin sister was the vice president of Hiram College's chapter of Right To Life years ago. Once upon a time, I was staunchly pro-life, probably more so than you. My views evolved to what they are now over many years, many debates, and a lot of research on abortion.


    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.


     

     

  • Mommy_of_Riley
    Jes
    January 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM
    I know you don't get the difference and that is fine... But an 8 week old fetus has no feet, no hands, its ears aren't fully formed, it has no stomach, etc. At 8 weeks it cannot live outside of the womb.

    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.

  • Emilytrademark
    January 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    "It's only ok when the baby doesn't look like a baby because it's easier to dehumanize them"

    That isn't a pro-choice argument I have ever heard. Have you heard any pro-choice arguments at all? Or maybe you just didn't want to listen?

    Quoting LoganTroyMom:

    I find it incredibly hypocritical when pro choicers condone abortion yet are against 3rd trimester abortions. It's only ok when the baby doesn't look like a baby because it's easier to dehumanize them. Once they look like a Pampers ad, it's not "the mothers choice".


  • momtoblueeyes
    January 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM
    23 weeks is at the age of viability according to college psychology books. Actually 22 weeks has been known to be the earliest. So doctors could have offered a c section and incubated the baby while she started her cancer treatment.


    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.


  • romalove
    January 21, 2013 at 10:52 AM
    Baby was not viable. This happened 18 years ago.

    Quoting momtoblueeyes:

    23 weeks is at the age of viability according to college psychology books. Actually 22 weeks has been known to be the earliest. So doctors could have offered a c section and incubated the baby while she started her cancer treatment.




    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.


  • momtoblueeyes
    January 21, 2013 at 10:55 AM
    Ok that explains, its sad tho :(


    Quoting romalove:

    Baby was not viable. This happened 18 years ago.



    Quoting momtoblueeyes:

    23 weeks is at the age of viability according to college psychology books. Actually 22 weeks has been known to be the earliest. So doctors could have offered a c section and incubated the baby while she started her cancer treatment.






    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.



  • Euphoric
    January 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM

     This.

    Quoting jaxTheMomm:

    Third trimester abortions are illegal unless deemed medically necessary.  None of these articles seem to point that out.

     

  • mehamil1
    January 21, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    I don't think any late term abortions are elective unless the woman had to move heaven and earth to obtain an abortion. The ones that are done are done because there is a birth defect or the baby is already dead in the womb. 

    It really is none of my business. 

  • motherslove82
    January 21, 2013 at 11:31 AM
    I would really like to meet the 6% of pro-lifers who are FOR third trimester abortions.

    These people should be prosecuted, not given their own movie.
  • jaxTheMomm
    January 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM


    We can plop them right down next to the people who think that a pregnant woman should die as opposed to having a life saving abortion, or be forced to continue a doomed pregnancy against her will.

    Kill 'em all at the same time.

    Quoting motherslove82:

    I would really like to meet the 6% of pro-lifers who are FOR third trimester abortions.

    These people should be prosecuted, not given their own movie.