Late-term abortion has dominated news cycles in recent weeks with the signing of a bill loosening the few restrictions on abortion in New York, in addition to a legislative proposal permitting abortion until birth in Virginia.
Amid massive outcry across the country, many claims about the practice are recirculating.
Although President George W. Bush signed into federal law a ban on partial-birth abortion in 2003, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2007, late-term abortions are in fact still permitted in several states. New York has now joined seven other states and the District of Columbia that allow abortion until birth.
Here are 3 myths about late-term abortion in the United States.
Myth 1: They only occur when the fetus will die anyway or the mom's life is in danger.
The idea that late-term abortions happen only when either the mother or the unborn child's life is in danger, or when it becomes known that the fetus has some kind of life-threatening genetic abnormality or disease, is contradicted by abortionists who have admitted performing them on healthy babies.
Live Action noted last week that Colorado abortionist Warren Hern has done so for reasons beyond health.
The documentary "After Tiller" a film about the work of late-term abortion providers following the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller, notes that third-trimester abortions were committed on babies who were healthy, the pro-life news outlet explained.
"Tiller would sign off on girls getting abortions for 'mental health reasons,' such as not being able to find a babysitter, or desiring to attend prom or a rock concert."
Abby Johnson, who was once a Planned Parenthood clinic director and whose story of leaving the abortion industry is being told in the upcoming movie "Unplanned," has said that "it is false to say the women who choose late-term abortion do so because of medical reasons."
"We referred hundreds of women to abort their babies after 24 weeks ... not one was for medical reasons."
Myth 2: They are only allowed by law in extreme circumstances.
What supporters of abortion rights sometimes assert is that the practice of abortion in the third trimester is only legally permitted in extreme cases. And such abortions are rare when compared to the majority of all abortions performed, they often note.
While such procedures constitute only 1.3 percent of abortions, according to a 2015 CDC report, states with liberal abortion laws have Supreme Court precedent on their side. The standard set forth in the relevant high court rulings for when they are permitted is the "health" of the mother, not an "extreme" situation.
Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide, is the most widely known court decision on the issue, but just as important is a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, that the justices said is to be read together with Roe.
In the Doe ruling, the court said that abortions were permitted after the period where the baby could survive outside the womb. Medical judgment as to the mother's "health" was left to a single doctor and could mean "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age—relevant to the well-being of the patient."
With such a loose definition, the practice is thereby permitted under the law for any reason in states that allow it.