On Planned Parenthood and Abortion

If you support Planned Parenthood, what are your thoughts on late second and third term abortions. All good? If a fetus is able to survive out side the womb (possible at +/- 27 weeks) doesn’t that scream murder to you? Does it make it okay because the doctor doesn’t murder out of malice? Is it okay because the Woman’s life is far more important than the little being?

I understand that prior to viability a fetus is a clump of cells. Many clumps are created that never become people. Do you think that women who choose abortion (for which ever reason they choose) are properly educated as to the process? What about the incriminating videos that have surfaced? I am often in the edge of pro choice/ pro life. I am a new mom, my baby was premature… And it makes me shudder to think that I would have had the option to terminate her a week before she was delivered.


Of the million or so abortions performed in the US each year, only about 1 percent are performed after 20 weeks of gestation. (Fetuses are simply not viable at 20 weeks — 22 weeks is the current technological threshhold for survival outside the womb, but even that requires extraordinary neonatal intensive care.)

Only about 1000 abortions a year are performed in the third trimester — that’s around 0.01 percent — and those are only performed when the mother’s life is at grave risk. You’re asking about a tiny, tiny fraction of abortions, and let’s be clear — you wouldn’t have had the option to terminate your pregnancy a week before delivery. That’s not even a thing, so quit all your stupid shuddering.

Speaking of things that don’t even exist, there are no incriminating videos. None. No evidence of any criminal activity on the part of any Planned Parenthood representative has surfaced. All of that hyped-up nonsense is just wingnut fear-mongering and politically motivated propaganda.

Let’s also step back another level. You’ve framed your entire question about Planned Parenthood around an ethical issue that involves literally 0.01% of all abortions, and abortions only account for 3% of all the critically important reproductive health care services that Planned Parenthood offers.

To be quite honest, I think it’s pretty fucking irresponsible of you to conflate Planned Parenthood with a service they provide less than 0.003% of the time — if at all — to women whose lives are at grave risk due to complications.

Planned Parenthood is SO MUCH MORE than just the place women go to get abortions. Millions of people get reproductive health services from Planned Parenthood every year — breast exams, Pap tests, STI testing and treatment (including HIV testing), plus vital family planning counseling to underprivileged populations. That shit is so important.

So yeah, if you’re on the edge of the pro-choice/anti-abortion debate, please step the fuck off and realize that whatever stupid nonsense makes you shudder as a new mom, it has absolutely no place influencing a national debate over the vital health services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Don’t be selfish about this.


22 thoughts on “On Planned Parenthood and Abortion

  1. Kate says:

    I think it’s also important to note that the vast majority of late term abortions occur for women who want to be pregnant. These abortions are necessary, but a tragedy for them. These babies are wanted but the pregnancies can’t continue due to lack of brain or other vital organ development. The pregnancy can’t be delivered as a stillbirth because of risk of uterine tearing which would render the woman perma

  2. “Do you think that women who choose abortion (for which ever reason they choose) are properly educated as to the process?”

    Well, aren’t you a condescending little shit?

    Based on all the scientifically invalid “information” that some states require doctors to give to women before abortions are permitted and all the propaganda running rampant, it’s pretty clear to me that it’s the pro-life side that isn’t educated as to the process. As if that’s not bad enough, they’re putting real women’s lives in danger.

    • PD says:

      Geezus christ; and OP questions all women’s education regarding their choice, while she herself didn’t have the knowledge that she wouldn’t have had the option to terminate her pregnancy a week before delivery.

  3. Godric says:

    The asker should watch ‘After Tiller’, it’s even on Netflix. You learn a few things about late-term abortion providers:

    – there are only 4 doctors in the USA who perform that procedure. None of them are directly employed by Planned Parenthood

    – the entire late-term abortion procedure is done to minimise the chance of damage to the mother’s reproductive potential, because nearly all of them really wanted children, and plan to have more at a future date

    – working in a clinic that performs late-term abortions is a very dangerous, draining job

    – most of those aborted fetuses were not predicted to live long after their birth, or if they did, with an absolutely abysmal quality of life

    But in general, about the 99% of abortions that happen to clumps of cells, fuck off, if you think a women’s ‘education on the process’ is a reason to deny someone their right to determine what they want to have happen to their body

    • Ashley says:

      wow, i knew none of this! very interesting info. just goes to show how nuts people are about a boogyman that doesn’t exist.

      (im pro choice, for the record)

  4. kittygrrrrl says:

    Thanks Coquette for so eloquently laying out all the BS surrounding Planned Parenthood.. and for my .02 Carly Fiorina can suck it!

  5. idk says:

    But do you support abortion even in this very elaborate hypothetical circumstance that I had to concoct to make the pro-life argument seem halfway human*?

    *Please pay no attention to the people screaming at teenagers who are trying to get a pap smear and calling for an end to all of the things that actually reduce the number of abortions in this country. I mean, I’m not paying any attention to them, why should you?!

  6. Sel says:

    “And it makes me shudder to think that I would have had the option to terminate her a week before she was delivered.”

    One thing that always pisses me off about stuff like what the letter writer says is directly related to the quote above: they’re always imagining it happening to THEIR baby.

    But it didn’t actually happen to you, did it? Nobody ended your pregnancy. Your baby is right fucking there, and yeah, you COULD have terminated your pregnancy at some point. If your life had been in danger, or the fetus had been so malformed that it couldn’t be born, you could have terminated your pregnancy in the third trimester.

    But it wasn’t, and you didn’t.

    So stop trying to enact control over other people’s lives based on hypothetical shit that didn’t happen to you. You have no idea what it’s like to be a mother seeking a late-term abortion. You’ve never been there, and I’d be willing to bet that you’ve never bothered to research what it’s like either–to listen to the stories of the people who have been through it. So you don’t have a goddamn clue what it’s like or what the reasoning is behind those choices. Maybe educate yourself before you cast judgement. Or, maybe trust that other people make the best choices they can for themselves and their families, and that you have no place or right to make those decisions for them.

    If you’d destroy the bodily autonomy of millions of women because of an irrational fear of SOMETHING THAT DIDN’T ACTUALLY HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR BABY, well. That says something about you, doesn’t it?

  7. Nina says:

    LW, stop assuming that other women are blithering idiots. People can make different choices than you and still be perfectly happy with the outcome.

  8. Jenny says:

    I haven’t had health insurance for over ten years. One UTI cost me over $900 at my local hospital. Planned parenthood employees informed me I could go there for treatment. They treated two UTI’s since and all I gave them was a (voluntary) $50 donation. They not only provided these service they made the paperwork process so incredibly, simple. Planned parenthood has been coming to my rescue since high school.

  9. Chantal says:

    LW, like you, I used to be against late-term abortions. Then I did the reading on it and changed my mind once I got educated on the topic. Coquette is right – listen to her.

  10. Anna says:

    Also, late term abortions take place in a context where the mother’s life is in danger, or the fetus has a non viable abnormality (some pro lifers will scream that every life is valuable, but believe me you don’t want to try and put most of these fetuses through the challenge of breathing eating and regulating their body outside of the womb, their pain in pure tragedy and their deaths are inevitable).
    However, i agree with the letter writer that people aren’t properly educated in the science of how babies are made and terminated.
    We have a culture that values children especially very young children. That’s not a bad thing per se but it makes us irrational.
    The scientific truth is, when a fetus is in the point of viability, it has less of a sense of self and consciousness than a chimpanzee or a dolphin. It can’t see anything more than a couple of inches away from it’s face. It’s totally dependant on another human being for survival. To call it viable is almost a mockery. That and about half of young children died before the age of 5 about a century ago. People weren’t so sentimental then.
    Before anyone calls me a monster let me say that I have grieved profoundly over other peoples losses whether unborn children or young children. I hope to have children of my own one day and I would be devastated if ever I lost one. Sentimentalism affects me as much as most.
    But I HATE it when people try to impose repressive views on others in the name of science. At least have the guts to say you’re a bigoted idiot doing trying to endanger women’s health in the name of your twisted belief system, but don’t use pseudo scientific arguments, please.

  11. KEL says:

    “So stop trying to enact control over other people’s lives based on hypothetical shit that didn’t happen to you.”


  12. Hoots says:

    The fact that this is something that even needs to be said bothers me. I’m an Australian, and admittedly an outsider who only skims the U.S. news. But for a country built on the principle of the separation of church and state, there seems to be a lot of religion in U.S. politics.

    • d says:

      It has a lot to do with the flood of tea party republicans that swept in the 2010 election in a lot of regions, very regressive “women should be barefoot and pregnant” types

  13. Kath says:

    No, people are not properly educated about how abortion works. There are a lot of cruel and unusual lies being told to women and girls before actual facts on a worldwide and institutional scale. The anti-choice brigade are wilfully making sure it remains an uncertain and scary prospect.

    PP and its ilk are fighting the good fight in terms of making sure we get to know.

  14. Damien Otis says:

    A point I’d like to is birth at 27 weeks. Children born that early aren’t all perfectly healthy when they leave the hospital. Premature babies often suffer permanent disabilities due to how early they were born. Even the best technology can’t replace the safety of the womb.

  15. So, despite a beating heart at only 4 weeks, brain waves at 6, and a functioning respiratory system at 8, a fetus is “simply not viable at 20 weeks.” Okay – got logic? Who tells YOU to come in out of the rain? As for “stupid nonsense” that makes people shudder, you make Hitler seem like a choir boy. Oh why Oh why did YOUR mom not decide to abort YOU?

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