What explains Donald Trump’s war on late-term abortions?
Attacks on the rare but controversial procedures are designed to please more than evangelicals
Aug 22nd 2019
WHILE LEROY CARHART, a doctor who specialises in late-term abortions, was finishing his most recent termination, the manager of his clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, outlined the procedure. Abortions in the second half of pregnancy take between two and four days, said Christine Spiegoski, a nurse wearing a T-shirt that read: “Don’t like abortion? Prevent pregnancy by f**king yourself!” First, the doctor injects potassium chloride or digoxin into the fetus’s heart, killing it within minutes. If he is unable to reach the heart and instead pumps the drug into the amniotic sac, death can take up to 24 hours. Dr Carhart euthanises the fetus at the beginning of the procedure because its tissue and skull then soften and contract, easing removal. At 25 weeks a fetus weighs around a pound and a half and is over a foot long; some of those Dr Carhart aborts are older.