What is a late abortion?
The phrase “late abortion” (or “late-term abortion”) refers to an abortion that occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. Different people define late abortions as starting at different times, but for the purposes of our film, we are considering late abortions to be those that are performed in the third trimester, at 24 weeks or later into the pregnancy.
To put late abortion in context, this is only a very tiny percentage of all abortions that are performed—according to the National Abortion Federation, fewer than 2% of all abortions are performed at 21 weeks and after, and abortions performed after 26 weeks are extremely rare.
Why would a woman need a late abortion?
Although it varies by state, across the country all abortions performed after 26 weeks must be medically indicated—ie, they cannot be “elective” abortions.
Many late abortions are performed because of fetal anomalies, such as a fetus developing without a brain. Often these pregnancies are not only planned, but very much wanted, making the decision to have an abortion even more difficult for the woman involved. Other late abortions might be performed if the patient is a very young girl, who might not have recognized the signs of pregnancy, or because the life or health of the pregnant woman is seriously in danger.
These are some possible reasons among many, but the bottom line is that there is a wide range of complicated medical and personal reasons why a woman might seek a late abortion.
Why are you making this film?
We are making this film because we think that the work Dr. Carhart and Dr. Hern are doing is incredibly important, and the fact that they continue to do it under such dangerous conditions demonstrates their remarkable courage. We hope that this film will change the way Americans see abortion doctors in general, and help clear up some of the many misconceptions about late abortions in particular.