Beliefnet
Steven Waldman

RH Reality Check linked to a fascinating article on a site called “Science Notes” about the reasons for third trimester abortions. As regular readers know, I’ve been hunting for good stats so I was interested in the author’s data about “What causes third trimester abortions?”
The author recounted a 1999 study that concluded:

  • 40% of late term abortions happened because “an earlier test indicated that a defect existed but not how serious it was.”
  • In 37%, “an earlier test failed to find the serious defects that showed up later.”
  • In 18%, “a diagnosis for this kind of defect can’t be made until the third trimester.”
  • And in 5%, “doctors or parents delayed the decision to abort.”

Stunningly, all of the late term abortions seemed to have occurred due to fetal abnormalities, dramatically bolstering the case of pro-choicers that these rare procedures invariably occur because of horrifying fetal defects.
So I clicked on the footnote and looked at the original study.
It turns out the original report, conducted at Maternité Port Royal University Hospital, Paris, France, only looked at late-term abortions involving fetal abnormalities. That’s right, 100% of the abortions showed defects because it was a study of fetuses with defects.