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Did President Joe Biden Tell the Truth About Third-Trimester Abortion?

by | Jul 2, 2024

Are third-trimester abortions only done to save the pregnant person’s life?

By Sarah Terzo

In the recent presidential debate, President Joe Biden said of third-trimester abortion:

Only if a woman’s life is in danger, she’s going to die, that’s the only circumstance where that can happen.

This is a common talking point of the pro-choice side. Many so-called ‘experts’ have said similar things.

Is Biden’s statement true?

No. It isn’t. And here’s why.

The Third-Trimester Abortion Procedure

In the third trimester, an abortion takes three days to commit. The baby is killed in the womb by lethal injection (usually either dioxin or potassium chloride) on the first day. This injection is also sometimes given to babies in the mid-to-late second trimester before abortions by dismemberment.

You can watch a former abortionist explain a third-trimester abortion procedure below.

Ironically, potassium chloride is the same drug used to administer the death penalty. This led one woman to decide against abortion when she was pregnant with a baby who would die soon after birth.

Christine Jacobs, mother of baby Alexander, describes how she felt after learning her baby would be killed with potassium chloride if she chose abortion:

I’m a forensic psychiatrist. I’ve worked in prisons and with inmates and all I could think was, ‘Potassium chloride — that’s a lethal injection that we give to death row inmates.’

And I just, I don’t know, I couldn’t handle the idea of that being how this innocent life ends.

Alexander died four minutes after he was born, and his parents were able to donate his organs to save the lives of other babies. This would have been impossible if Jacobs had had an abortion.

Third-Trimester Abortions Never Need to be Done to Save the Pregnant Person’s Life

The only major difference between a third-trimester abortion and an induced delivery is that in an abortion, the baby is injected with poison. To turn a third-trimester abortion into a delivery, all the doctor has to do is not give the injection.

Since injecting a syringe full of poison into a pregnant person’s body has medical risks, it is obviously safer not to do it. For this reason, a third-trimester abortion is more dangerous to pregnant people than an induced delivery.

If pregnancy endangers a pregnant person’s life, the doctor could do an immediate cesarian section instead of a three-day procedure. Or, the doctor could simply induce labor. One way or another, the baby has to come out. The only question is, will the child come out alive or dead by lethal injection?

So, as you can see, a third-trimester abortion is never needed to save the life of a pregnant person. There is no medical condition that requires doing an extra procedure to kill a baby before inducing delivery.

If you’re still not convinced, here is a quote from a 1998 article in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (emphasis added):

Except in extraordinary circumstances, maternal health factors which demand termination of the pregnancy can be accommodated without sacrifice of the fetus, and the near certainty of the independent viability of the fetus argues for ending a pregnancy by appropriate delivery.1

This was almost 25 years ago. Medicine is now even more advanced.

Study Reveals the True Reasons Third-Trimester Abortions Are Done

A medical study reveals the true reasons why third-trimester abortions are done.

The study appeared in the medical journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. It found that the reasons people have third-trimester abortions did not differ from the reasons they had earlier abortions.

The study was conducted by pro-abortion researcher Katrina Kimport who supports keeping abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy. So there is no pro-life bias in this study.

In fact, Kimport wants to do away with the whole concept and distinction of “late-term abortion.” She says []:

The similarities between respondents’ experiences and that of people seeking abortion at other gestations, particularly regarding the impact of barriers to abortion, point to the value of a social conceptualization of need for abortion that eschews a trimester or gestation-based framework and instead conceptualizes abortion as an option throughout pregnancy.

The pro-abortion group ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health) describes itself as “Providing the evidence you need to advance reproductive well-being.” It says of the results of the study:

The reasons people need third-trimester abortions are not so different from why people need abortions before the third trimester…

[T]he circumstances that lead to someone needing a third-trimester abortion have overlaps with the pathways to abortion at other gestations.

The study itself doesn’t give a detailed breakdown of women’s reasons or any concrete numbers. Instead, it claims that people have abortions in the third trimester for one or more of the following reasons:

  • She didn’t know she was pregnant earlier.
  • She had difficulty arranging an abortion.
  • The baby had a health problem or disability.

None of the abortions in the study were sought due to the pregnant person’s physical health or because she had a life-endangering condition.

Again, none of the abortions were done to save the life of the mother– or for any reason related to the pregnant person’s health.

Abortions of Babies with Disabilities

The study mentioned four cases in which the baby had a disability. If these were the only cases in the study, that would mean abortions for fetal disabilities, or health problems in the baby, were only 14.3% of the total.

Since these were all healthy women, if this number is accurate, it would mean that over 85% of third-trimester abortions in the study were done on healthy mothers with healthy babies– but it isn’t entirely clear if these were all the disability cases or just four she was highlighting.

One mother dehumanized her disabled baby by saying, “There was nothing to say this child has any possibility of having even the capability of existing as a baby, as a child, as a person.”

Someone with a disability is a person. People with disabilities, even severe disabilities, are human beings. This is the dehumanization of a whole group of people because their abilities are different from average. To deny that disabled people are people, solely because they have a disability, is the worst possible form of ableism.

Another mother said her child had a “very bad prognosis.” The third mother cited “several serious fetal health issues.” There is no way to know how serious these problems actually were because the article gives little information about these cases and no specific medical diagnoses. So we don’t know what disabilities these babies had.

People with disabilities live rich, full lives. We feel happiness and joy. We give and receive love. Most of us make our mark on the world, and leave it a better place – and even if we don’t, we still deserve not to be killed.

We may not be able to do certain things, but we lead lives that are meaningful, to us at least.

Whether our lives are meaningful to others shouldn’t determine whether we have the right to exist.

The fourth woman said her child would die in utero or “if he did make it to birth, it was going to be a lot of surgeries and we did not know what his quality of life would be at that point.”

At 22 weeks, she requested an abortion from her doctor, but he refused to approve it because he once delivered a 22-week preemie and didn’t feel her baby should be killed. It took her until the third trimester to arrange an abortion elsewhere, even though abortion on demand is legal for any reason at 22 weeks (and beyond) in over 30 states.

Learning of a Pregnancy Too Late or Delays in Arranging Abortion

The study also presented cases where the pregnancy wasn’t discovered until late in gestation and/or abortion was hard to arrange.

One woman discovered her pregnancy early but “took no immediate action toward obtaining an abortion.”

Kimport says that she had emotional problems because of a sexual assault she endured at some point in her past. It gives this as a reason why she waited so long to arrange an abortion.

Sadly, having a late-term abortion might have made her emotional problems worse. Manymany women have written about suffering emotional trauma due to their abortions. It is unlikely that the abortion improved her mental health or eased her emotional problems.

Abortion Too Expensive

Cost was another factor. Abortion facilities charge a lot of money for abortions, putting them out of reach of many pregnant people. Planned Parenthood, for example, charges $715 to $2000 for a second-trimester abortion. (One might think that, if they are as altruistic as they claim to be, they wouldn’t be so concerned about making money).

Abortion providers and the pro-abortion movement often blame pro-life laws and pro-life activism with delaying abortions. So it’s interesting that one of the main reasons this study cites is something completely controlled by the abortion industry that pro-lifers have nothing to do with– how much profit they want to make.

One woman couldn’t afford an abortion and started prenatal care. Then, her (now) ex-boyfriend got a work bonus, and she had an abortion in her third trimester.

Another woman was homeless. The abortion facility took her money, killed her baby, and sent her back to her situation, leaving her to fend for herself. In contrast, a pregnancy resource center would have walked with her through her pregnancy and given her real help.

There are many examples of pro-lifers and pregnancy resource centers helping pregnant people find housing or giving them money to pay rent. (You can find some examples in Marisol Maldonado Rodriguez’s book Beyond Her YesReimagining Pro-Life Ministry to Empower Women and Support Families in Overcoming Poverty.)

Pregnancy centers also offer free parenting classes, baby items such as diapers and bassinets, and ongoing emotional support that can last for years (or, unofficially, a lifetime, as pregnancy center volunteers befriend the pregnant and parenting people).

And unlike the abortion facility, they do it all for free.

Instead of helping her find housing or a way out of her situation, the abortion facility took this woman’s money, killed her baby, and sent her right back to the street or the homeless shelter. They dismissed her from their clinic, never to have anything to do with her again. After the abortion, she was on her own, only now with the memory of a dead baby.

Undercover Video Reveals the Truth

A Live Action undercover video taken inside an abortion facility in Washington, D.C., also shows that third-trimester abortions on healthy mothers with healthy babies are happening regularly in the United States.

The woman who went undercover was 28 weeks pregnant. She was physically healthy with a healthy baby and didn’t give a serious reason for wanting the abortion.

She has the following conversation with the abortion worker:

Patient: I’m just feeling very self-conscious cuz I feel like you guys probably don’t see a lot of people as far along as I am, except for, like, medical emergencies.

Abortion worker: No, you’re fine… We see a lot of people as far – further than you.

Later in the video, there is this exchange:

Patient: You guys have, like, this [is] what you do, you have experience this far along?

Abortion Worker: Yes. Yes. We do.

Patient: Yeah, it’s not just at like 22 or 18 [weeks]or something.

Abortion Worker: No. No. We specialize in this far along.

The abortion worker makes it clear that her facility regularly does third-trimester abortions for non-health-related reasons.

So we can clearly see that President Biden was either lying or misinformed. And the media, as they always do, just went along with it, hiding the truth from people.

1.   Jeg Epner, HS Jonas, DL Seckinger “Late-term Abortion” Journal of the American Medical Association 1998; 280 (8): 724-729

Editor’s note. This appeared on Sarah’s substack [] and is reposted with permission. You can find more of her articles here [].

Categories: Abortion
Tags: Joe Biden