But I also fully understood why pro-life factions wanted the media there: To paraphrase a line from Gosnell’s Babies, abortions in the second trimester are brutal. And the Gosnell trial was rife with images of second-trimester abortion—from verbal descriptions of needles, forceps and hearts, to photos of fetuses and babies, ranging from the mid- second trimester to as old as 32 weeks gestation. (I should pause here, momentarily, to acknowledge that the vast majority of abortions, roughly 90-percent, occur in the first trimester. Further, just 1.5 percent of abortions occur between weeks 21 and 24.)Still, even that “low” figure represents about 18,000 such abortions per year—a number I’d argue is significant enough to consider as part of the debate.
Now feminists complained that women lacked access to abortion. One type of abortion that is harder to get is a second trimester abortion. Why? There are few providers:
But some of this reluctance comes down to the grisly realities of providing such a service. When a fetus gets into the second trimester, we are talking about stifling off the growth and development of something that is visibly, anatomically, human, with a heart to stop.
But the baby at 8 weeks is fairly human-looking two.
I think it's the method. With a 14-week fetus, you have to rip off arms the bones of which have begun to calcify.
But a suction-aspiration abortion can be done without anyone seeing any remains, if you can recognize them at all.