Although a vast amount of the controversy around the so-called “fetal pain” bans, a series of 20 week abortion restrictions across the country based on the erroneous claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks post-fertilization, centers on being forced to carry non-viable pregnancies, those aren’t the only concerns pro-choice activists have.
Sarah Kliff discusses the ban with Dr. Willie Parker, a D.C. based physician who provides abortions both in the District and in Alabama. In the interview, Parker reminds readers that a late abortion ban also disproportionately affects the poor as well.
Via the Washington Post:
Willie Parker: The reality is that a small percentage of overall women who have abortions have them beyond 13 weeks. It’s about 1 percent. Those cases do happen in D.C. like they happen everywhere else. There are unplanned pregnancies, people who are in poverty who might delay their diagnosis and might end up in this group of people. Those are the women who could be affected.
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SK: Who are the patients you tend to see for late-term abortions?
WP: The reality is that unplanned, unwanted or wanted but flawed pregnancies can occur to all women of any race, class or economic status. The women who tend to disproportionately find themselves [having a later-term abortion] tend to be at the extremes of reproductive age, maybe women over 40 who are more likely to have genetic anomalies. There are also women in poverty, with limited access to medical resources or education.
SK: Can you talk a little bit about your work in Alabama? Why was it important for you to work there?
WP: That’s primarily because that’s where I’m from. The reality of abortion is that women who are most likely to have one are women of poverty and of color. So this was a decision to serve women where I’m from, and an effort to go where the need is greatest.
Be sure to read the full interview for a frank discussion of what it is like to perform later term abortions since the murder of Dr. George Tiller.