Early abortion restrictions encourage more women to delay their abortions

Christina Taylor was already a mother of two when she found out she was expecting her third child. Everything seemed to be going well at first, and she was excited to welcome a new baby into the family.

Taylor had an ultrasound and a basic anatomy scan when she was 20 weeks pregnant.

It was the worst news imaginable. There were no kidneys, no bladder, and no amniotic fluid in the newborn. Most likely, the baby would die soon after birth or not make it through the pregnancy.

I had the choice of waiting it out and seeing when he died, but then I’d have a stillbirth. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish it, “Taylor remarked.

Abortion is allowed in Colorado, and there are no gestational limits. Taylor went forward with what is known as a late abortion in medical terms.

Abortions later in pregnancy are uncommon, even more so now that drugs to end early pregnancies are available.

They are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain in broad sections of the United States.

Many states have regulations requiring a period of waiting before having an abortion or having an ultrasound. If the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, women in some parts of the country may face even greater obstacles and may have to fly to another state to receive an abortion.

As a result, more women may get the operation later than they would like.

Dr. Diane Horvath, an OB-GYN in Baltimore, Maryland, who has done abortions for 16 years, said, “It’s not because patients don’t want to have them sooner.” “It’s because of barriers and fresh information, which force them to postpone it until later in the pregnancy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 93 percent of legal abortions performed in the United States in 2019 took place within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, or during the first trimester.Only about 6% of abortions were performed between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, and significantly fewer, less than 1%, were performed at 21 weeks or later in the third trimester.

The first hurdle for some women is waiting to find out if they are pregnant.

“Everyone assumes you portray pregnancies in a consistent manner.” You skip a period, throw up, take a test, and find out you’re pregnant after five weeks. And for a lot of people, that is just not the case. “PatientForward, a nonprofit that assists people get later abortions, was founded by Erika Christensen.

Jenn Chalifoux, now 30, is a law student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She became pregnant in 2010 when she was 18 years old and getting inpatient treatment in New York for an eating issue.

Her period had been absent, which is a common indication of women suffering from a restricted eating condition. She was also on birth control.

When she took a pregnancy test and called Planned Parenthood, she was told that it was too late for a medical abortion and that she would have to have surgery.

An ultrasound indicated that she was further advanced than previously anticipated after traveling to a hospital for an initial checkup to prepare for the treatment. Overall, Chalifoux said it took her about a month from the time she found out she was pregnant until she was able to get an abortion, which she did a few days after turning 19.

Chalifoux found that the price of an abortion goes up by a lot as the pregnancy goes on, from a few hundred dollars in the first trimester to thousands in the second and even tens of thousands after that.

A young lady who was raped in 2020 and didn’t find out she was pregnant until months later said the cost of her abortion skyrocketed in the weeks it took her to realize she was too late for services in Houston.

She was in her third trimester when she boarded an aircraft, all by herself, to fly to New Mexico to end her pregnancy at 27 weeks.

PatientForward, a non-profit abortion rights organization, assisted the lady, whom the Associated Press is not naming because she is a sexual assault victim.

The reasons for these and other women’s seeking later abortions are as varied as those for earlier abortions and are frequently beyond the women’s control.

“Getting an abortion in this country is extremely difficult,” Christensen added. “And the notion that people can seek care by a specific date is founded on the assumptions that we get all the information we need by a certain date and that we live in a fair world with equal access to resources and health care.” Neither of these statements is correct. “