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The Third Trimester

Third trimester abortions are generally accomplished with the same basic procedures used in the second trimester. However, because the babies being killed are larger and more likely to survive the procedures, modifications are made. For example, because her child is larger, the mom’s cervix must be dilated more than it would be in a second trimester abortion. Additionally, chemicals that are used to soften the baby and make it easier to pull apart and remove are administered in larger a quantity. They are also given earlier so they have a longer time to soak into the baby’s tissue and bone. As for avoiding “The Dreaded Complication” (live birth), babies killed during the third trimester are more likely to be given feticidal drugs and they are given them in greater dosages.

Sometimes, the procedure itself is modified. For example, one of the most common third trimester abortion procedures is the intact D&E described earlier. This method is also known as D&X (dilation and extraction) or partial-birth abortion. When this procedure is used in the third trimester, the abortionist maneuvers the baby into a breech position (feet first) and then pulls the baby out of the uterus up to its head – leaving the baby’s head just inside of the uterus. It is not at all uncommon for the baby to still be alive at this point. Now the abortionist pushes a long pair of scissors into the base of the baby’s skull and creates a hole. He then inserts a suction tube into the hole and sucks out the baby’s brain. This modification to the intact D&E procedure insures that the baby is not born alive, and it helps make the head smaller so that it is easier to pull out of the uterus.