Pregnancy

Late Term Abortions

Late term abortions are those abortions that are performed towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy, often in the second and third trimester.  These types of abortions are very controversial and complicated. The fetus in this case is more developed and may be able to survive outside the womb.

A late term abortion is defined as when abortion is induced when the growing fetus is more than 20 weeks old. The exact time duration for the abortion to be termed as late term abortion is not clearly defined in the medical world ; typically the abortion of a fetus that is more than 20 weeks old is usually considered a late term abortion.

Late Term Abortions – The Procedures

Late term abortions are legally not permitted. Only in severe cases it is possible to terminate such pregnancies legally. There are generally two procedures used for terminating these pregnancies, including:

Dilation & Evacuation:

This is the most common procedure used in late term pregnancies. In this procedure, the cervix is dilated the removal of fetus is done by using forceps to extract the fetus, which is usually cut into pieces. Now these pieces are removed one at a time. To ensure that nothing is left behind in the uterus, a vacuum aspiration procedure is used after the D&E.

Early Induction of Labor:

Labor is induced in the woman as a means of removing the fetus. Since the procedure is painful and intense, it is typically not used.

Intact D&X Surgery:

This is a complex procedure over the course of several days in which dilation of cervix is done with the help of seaweeds, which absorb the fluids and swell. Once this is done, the legs of the baby are drawn out with the help of forceps. Later an incision is made in the skull’s base and tissues of the fetus’ brain are removed, which results in the collapse of the brain. Then the entire fetus is removed.

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