I just read an interview with Dr. Susan Robinson, one of the last four doctors in the United States who still provides third-trimester abortions. While I can't say that I agree with everything she says, she does impress me as a sincere and compassionate person. I think it's worth hearing her out:
Question: I read an interview with you recently where you talked about Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who cut off his hand in order to escape being trapped underneath a boulder. You said that women having third-trimester abortions need them the way that Aron needed to cut off his hand. Can you tell me more about that? What's the difference between how people perceive late abortions and what you see at your clinic?
Answer: I think that the public perceives first of all that late abortion could be completely eliminated if people would only get their act together and have their abortions earlier, which is completely untrue.
I also think that people assume that women do this casually—that they've known they were pregnant for thirty weeks and then were on their way down to the hair salon and they saw the abortion clinic and they decided to just walk in to avoid the inconveniences of motherhood. That also is completely untrue. No matter how available birth control and first-trimester and second-trimester abortion is, you are always going to have the need for later abortions. A woman would NEVER do this casually. The procedure lasts three or four days, and is fairly disagreeable.