Stereotypes of 'Late-Term Aborters' Hide Truth, Opinion Piece Argues

July 30, 2012 — In a Washington Post opinion piece about a bill (HR 3803) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the District of Columbia, Christy Zink describes her experience terminating "a much-wanted pregnancy at almost 22 weeks, when her baby was found to have severe fetal anomalies of the brain."

Zink writes, "If the restrictions in this bill had been the law of the land when my husband and I received our diagnosis, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby who the doctors concurred had no chance of a real life and who would have faced severe, continual pain."

Zink argues that the bill is premised on a "myth of ... callous women" who seek abortions "after 20 weeks because [they are] cruel and heartless" or "lazy" and "selfish." She adds, "Believing this fabrication of the radical right depends on one's ability to conjure at once a perfectly unfeeling woman and a perfectly healthy child, a stand in for the much more tragic and complex reality."

She writes that the "bill would have calamitous ramifications for real women and real families, and that the women it would most affect could never imagine they would need their right to abortion protected this way." She concludes that "members of the Senate and ordinary people across this country must see through the stereotype of the late-term aborter and see, instead, the true face of a woman who has been in this situation" (Zink, Washington Post, 7/27).