You are here7907: The Right to Second Trimester Abortion (1979)
7907: The Right to Second Trimester Abortion (1979)
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7907: The Right to Second Trimester Abortion
American Public Health Association Policy Statement November 7, 1979
Recognizing that it has consistently advocated women's right to abortion (Resolution #7626), physicians' freedom to perform abortion, and state legislation for legal abortion (#6718); and has urged the removal of state statutes restricting abortion (#7118), and supported the inclusion of abortion in public funding (#7025); and
Acknowledging that although the United States Supreme Court has recognized women's right to abortion to the point of viability in the 1973 Doe vs. Wade decision, anti-abortion groups are harassing women seeking abortions as well as abortion providers across the country, and are creating immense pressure on physicians who perform later abortion procedures; and
Noting that only 9 per cent of legal abortions are performed in the second trimester of pregnancy; that greater use of the Dilatation and Evacuation procedure makes it possible to perform the vast majority of second trimester abortions during or prior to the 16th week after the last menstrual period (LMP), which is the 14th week of pregnancy; I and that most women who seek abortions after the 16th week LMP are facing severe social and health circumstances, such as pregnancy at a very young age or involving a fetus with known serious congenital abnormalities or disease; and
Noting that through curtailment of funding at both the federal and state levels, poor women have seen their right to abortion erode; therefore
1. Renews its support of women's right to abortion up to and including to the point of viability;
2. Urges strong opposition to local and state proposed or enacted ordinances which present misleading and nonfactual information which may be perceived to frighten and harass women who choose abortion and health care providers performing these abortions;
3. Urges endorsement of educational programs which train physicians and health care personnel to provide safe later abortion techniques of Dilatation and Evacuation and saline infusion; and
4. Urges endorsement of the provision of second trimester abortion in free-standing qualified clinics that meet the state standards required for certifications.
1. Grimes DA, et al: Mid-trimester abortion by dilatation and evacuation: a safe and practical alternative. N Engl J Med 296;