Australia’s Only Clinic For Later Term Surgical Abortions Will No Longer Provide Services After 24 Weeks

Women of Australia will no longer be able to obtain an abortion after 24 weeks unless the fetus has a congenital defect, as the country’s only later term surgical abortion center announces it is discontinuing the service.

Via The Herald Sun:

AUSTRALIA’S only clinic offering women late-term surgical abortions has scrapped the service sparking concerns it could lead to a rise in backyard abortions.

The Croydon clinic will no longer give abortions to women post 24 weeks.

Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson said she was concerned that if women could not access the legitimate health service it could lead to unsafe solutions.

“The worst case scenario is that it will lead to backyard abortions,” Ms Wilson said.

It was the only clinic in the southern hemisphere to offer the medical procedure.

Although a woman’s hospital will provide late abortions, they will not allow them in any case that does not involve a fetal abnormality, and will only provide the service by inducing the pregnancy and putting the pregnant woman into an early labor.

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  • cmarie

    I remember when my eleven year old daughter was in preschool.  She had a classmate whose older sister (maybe a year older) had been born three months prematurely.  She was able to communicate somewhat by sign language but is confined to a wheelchair and faces multiple disabilities.  When my now seven year old son was in the same preschool he also had a little friend whose younger brother had been born three months premature.  I remember him running around healthy and happy.  His mother told me that other than his smaller than average size and some help with physical therapy he enjoyed perfectly normal health.  In only those few years the prognosis for very premature children has improved dramatically.

  • crowepps

    Three months premature?  These days the magic number for base survival seems to be 25 weeks.  Survival rates currently are: 22 weeks, 9.8%; 23 weeks, 53%; 24 weeks, 67%;  25 weeks 82%, and 26 weeks 85%.   And 45% escaped major damage!  (Which unfortunately means 55% did not).

    Unfortunately, long term prospects are not so rosy:

    Many children will adjust well during childhood and adolescence,[82] although a large study that followed children born between 22 and 25 weeks found some alarming results. When the children were 6 years old it was found that 46 percent had severe or moderate disabilities such as cerebral palsy, vision or hearing loss and learning problems; 34 percent were mildly disabled while 20 percent had no disabilities.12 percent had disabling cerebral palsy. For the first time this gave a real picture of what happens to children who are at the limits of viability.[13] As survival has improved, the focus of interventions directed at the newborn has shifted to reduce long-term disabilities, particularly those related to brain injury.[82] Some of the complications related to prematurity may not be apparent until years after the birth. A long-term study demonstrated that the risks of medical and social disabilities extend into adulthood and are higher with decreasing gestational age at birth and include cerebral palsy, mental retardation, disorders of psychological development, behavior, and emotion, disabilities of vision and hearing, and epilepsy.[83] Standard intelligence tests showed that 41 percent of children born between 22 and 25 weeks had moderate or severe learning disabilities when compared to the test scores of a group of similar classmates who were born at full-term.[13] It is also shown that higher levels of education were less likely to be obtained with decreasing gestational age at birth.[83] People born prematurely may be more susceptible to developing depression as teenagers.[84] Some of these problems can be described as being within the executive domain and have been speculated to arise due to decreased myelinization of the frontal lobes.[85] Studies of people born premature and investigated later with MRI brain imaging, demonstrate qualitative anomalies of brain structure and grey matter deficits within temporal lobe structures and the cerebellum that persist into adolescence.[86] Throughout life they are more likely to require services provided by physical therapists, occupational therapists, or speech therapists.[82]