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This OB/GYN Is Going Viral For Debunking of Late-Term Abortion Myths

If you follow right-wing media sources even slightly you’re probably well aware of the gnashing of teeth, moans, and wails of conservatives in the media over New York’s new abortion law. In a nutshell, the law protects a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe Vs. Wade, the landmark court case that established a right to an abortion before medical viability of the fetus back in 1973.

What’s driving the right insane is that the New York law also allows medical professionals other than doctors to determine if an abortion is necessary in the third trimester. “Late term abortions” is a term packed with political explosives, and religious conservatives are often the ones lighting the fuse, evoking emotions in people by referring to it as “infanticide” as Fox News anchor ghoul Laura Ingraham called it in a tweet this week.

Undoubtedly, lawmakers in New York felt spurred on to pass their abortion protection law because of the newly cemented, solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court. They can pretend all they want that they haven’t spent the last nearly 50 years decrying Roe Vs. Wade, and passing law after law that attempted to undermine it, but with a Republican majority in the Senate (and the filibuster already dead for SCOTUS nominations), and a Republican in the White House desperate to look good in front of his base, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that an attempt would be made to get a case before the high court that could unravel 46 years of precedent.

Debunking the myths

In reaction to the blitz of outrage that conservative media has ginned up within their audience, gynecologist Dr. Jennifer Gunter took to Twitter and her follower count of over 111,000 people to try and dispel as much of the “lies” about abortions in the third trimester as she could. Her threaded tweets are going super-viral right now.

Dr. Gunter starts by listing her bonafides and insisting she’s never performed abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy that were not medically necessary. The idea that women use late-term abortions as some fail safe option for a last minute birth control method is just fantasy.

Gunter explains that the abortions that take place after 24 weeks are first of all “very rare,” and secondly they involve dire medical situations like there being something wrong with the fetus, or issues with the expectant mother’s health.

Dr. Gunter could recall one specific case of a third-trimester abortion that wasn’t medically necessary. However, the only reason it happened so late was that it took that long for the courts to get consent from the underage patient’s parents for the abortion. Gunter recalled the “mother” had been raped by her brother. I’d love to see Mike Huckabee tell this girl she should have to carry her brother’s rape baby to full term because of his personal religious beliefs.

Then it gets real. Gunter gives the details on case after case where an abortion was needed after the 24 week mark, and none of them leave you with the sense that it’s a bunch of carefree young ladies who just don’t want to be burdened with being pregnant (though, side bar: who cares if they do because this is America and freedom is a thing, but anywho…).

One woman chose an abortion over having to explain to people that her pregnant belly contained a mostly brainless and largely skull-less — that’s what “anencephalic” means — fetus. How dare she choose to have the lifeless organism “aborted,” eh? Clearly what’s best for society is for that woman to spend time in jail for that decision.

I suppose the same would go for the woman in this anecdote whose fetus was triploidy. Better behind bars than choosing a humane way to end her medical nightmare of a pregnancy, fam.

Gunter said all of the cases she mentioned were medically necessary abortions, and that people who haven’t done a procedure past 24-weeks — like for personal morality reasons — have no credibility in her view to discuss them.

Of course, doctors are not a monolith. There are probably medical professionals who would disagree with Dr. Gunter. But it’s hard to argue against someone whose logic is based on many years doing the exact thing that’s being discussed. It’s hard not to agree with her that pregnancies can be scary and dangerous enough that women deserve compassion and empathy when things go awry, not legal punishments and criticism from people who aren’t going to deal with the emotional and psychological aftermath when they do.


Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.

 

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