New Paper Dispels ACOG Claim on Reasons for Late-Term Abortions

Contact: Mallory Quigley, [email protected], 202-223-8073

“Severe Fetal Abnormality” Not a Driving Factor in Late-Term Abortion Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new paper released today by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) authored by Elizabeth Ann M. Johnson, M.D., elaborates the reasons for late-term abortion in the United States. Johnson’s analysis of a University of California-San Francisco study of patient interviews and questionnaires finds that the majority of late-term abortions are not performed for reasons of severe fetal abnormality.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – popular legislation to limit abortion after five months of pregnancy. Opponents of the measure, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and NARAL Pro-Choice America, argue that most abortions after five months occur because the life of the mother will be endangered if the pregnancy proceeds or the unborn child suffers from a severe and/or untreatable medical condition or anomaly. 

“The conditions under which women seek and obtain late-term abortions are primarily social in nature.  Each of them – higher rates of unemployment, relationship instability, lack of financial means – are not remediated by late-term abortion or by abortion generally.  In fact, to the degree that late-term abortions are exceedingly expensive and medically harmful to women, these factors may be exacerbated by their decision to proceed with ending their pregnancies,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

“Advocates for life can and should act justly to protect these infants from destruction, but alongside that disposition must come a renewed determination to provide alternatives that offer hope and promote economic and social healing.”

Johnson’s paper, The Reality of Late-Term Abortion Procedures, is a part of the Lozier Institute’s On Point series and is currently available online.

CLI is the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List.

 Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List.  CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world. The Institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.


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