Abortion, Partial Birth (Encyclopedia of Medicine)
Partial birth abortion is a method of late-term abortion that terminates a pregnancy and results in the death and intact removal of a fetus. This procedure is most commonly referred to as intact dilatation and extraction (D & X).
Partial birth abortion, or D&X, is performed to end a pregnancy and results in the death of a fetus, typically in the late second or third trimester. Although D&X is highly controversial, some physicians argue that it has advantages that make it a preferable procedure in some circumstances. One perceived advantage is that the fetus is removed largely intact, allowing for better evaluation and autopsy of the fetus in cases of known fetal anomalies. Intact removal of the fetus may also confer a lower risk of puncturing the uterus or damaging the cervix. Another perceived advantage is that D&X ends the pregnancy without requiring the woman to go through labor, which may be less emotionally traumatic than other methods of late-term abortion. In addition, D&X may offer a lower cost and shorter procedure time.
Women considering D&X should be aware of the highly controversial nature of this procedure. A controversy common to all late-term abortions is whether the fetus is viable, or able to...
(The entire section is 792 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!