Bitch Ph.D.’s (another excellent Shakesville contributor) blog has some statistics about Third Trimester Abortions in the USA- basically that they’re extremely rare.
Interestingly, the Abortion debate in the USA has taken a turn to mimic our own scuffle recently, with Barack Obama claiming he doesn’t think mental distress is a valid reason to allow abortions in the third trimester.
This comment is generally a sexist anti-abortion dogwhistle- it implies that because apparently because it can be faked, real, genuine mental illness doesn’t exist among women wanting third trimester abortions, especially in stressful events like an unwanted pregnancy. While perhaps that is justification to actually, I don’t know, look for symptoms of mental illness first, I don’t think it’s justification for ruling out mental health as a reason for a third-trimester abortion. We don’t have the right to force the mother to accept the mental health consequences of carrying the baby to term, or giving it up for adoption.
She also links to a pro-life doctor citing some really persuasive reasons for allowing third trimester abortions, including explaining that “pediatric reasons” don’t always just apply to the fetus. Worth checking out.