Friday, December 16, 2016

More evidence that most late-term abortions are elective

Two months ago I wrote the post “No, most late-term abortions are not medically necessary,” in which I used Guttmacher data to show that at least 75% of 13+ week abortions are elective (that is, they are not performed due to fetal or maternal health concerns). I said:
One could argue that the proportion of medically necessary abortions after 16 weeks would be higher. And it probably would be. However there’s no indication it would be so high as to constitute even a majority of late-term abortions, much less “nearly all” late-term abortions.
Apparently since 2012 Arizona has been publishing more detailed information on their late-term abortions than most states provide. Specifically Arizona has documented reasons for 14-20 week abortions and reasons for 21+ week abortions. The bottom line?

In Arizona, since 2012,
91% of 14-20 week abortions &
80% of 21+ week abortions 
have been elective.

So at least in Arizona, no, the proportion of medically necessary abortions did not increase later in the pregnancy compared to the data from Guttmacher.  

Similarly I found some Florida data. Unfortunately they lump together 13-24 weeks. They also have some pretty broad definitions of "non-elective." In addition to life endangering conditions to the mother and serious fetal medical conditions, Florida considers abortions for the following reasons "non-elective""
  • Emotional/psychological health of the mother
  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Physical health of the mother that is not life endangering 
  • Social or economic reasons
Including "economic reasons" in the definition of "non-elective" doesn't mesh at all with the pro-choice claim that late-term abortions are all medically necessary. But let's just pretend it does. Even if we include all these reasons in the "non-elective" category, the numbers still don't support the pro-choice claim.

In Florida, since 2013, 
87% of 13-24 week abortions 
have been elective.   

While this information comes from only two states, the point remains that wherever there is actual data (where states can't hide behind non-reporting), it's clear most late-term abortions are not medically necessary. If any pro-choicer has evidence (beyond anecdotes) to suggest otherwise, please bring it forward.

No comments: