Let's get the facts straight.
In this final presidential debate for 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both spoke passionately about the issue of a woman's right to choose.
Hillary spoke eloquently. She explained a vote she made in 2003 saying that she was not voting against abortion, she was voting against a type of abortion that could harm women.
Her vote makes sense, as such a procedure would be in direct violation of Roe v. Wade.
She went on to speak about the devastation late term abortions had wreaked upon women and families she has met.
Donald Trump responded using fear-based rhetoric.
He talked about babies being "ripped from their mother's womb at 9 months old."
But here's the problem with that argument.
It doesn't happen.
Hillary Clinton, pro-choice activists, and medical officials were quick to step up and correct Trump's error.
But some people still seem confused.
So let's talk about late term abortion, why it happens, what it looks like, and the emotional ramifications it has on all parties.
No pregnant woman is driving up to the hospital on her due date to have her pregnancy terminated.
She's not like "Oh, I'm having second thoughts now that I've realized I really like sleeping in, let's nip to the clinic and get rid of this sucker."
In fact, of all the abortions performed annually, only 1.3% (1.3!) are performed on women whose pregnancies have passed the 20 week marker (20 weeks is when a pregnancy is medically considered late term.)
If you are ripping a baby out of its mother's womb at 9 months, what you're doing is performing a c-section.
C-section births in the United States make up 1/3 of all deliveries. There is controversy surrounding the rising rate at which c-sections are performed in the US, but that has absolutely nothing to do with late term abortion.
If a pregnancy is ended at 36 weeks it is because the fetus will not survive out of the womb.
These aren't horror stories meant to be used to scare women away from doing what is best for them and their families. These are tragedies where very often a mother has to let go of the idea of the child she thought she was bringing into this world.
If a pregnancy is ended at 36 weeks, there is no ripping from the womb.
Instead what happens is an induced delivery. The mother is the hospital for days, sometimes, giving birth to a child who has already died.
"Partial birth" abortions are not a thing that exists. This is moral language put on a rare and difficult late term abortion procedure called a dilation and evacuation where the fetus is aborted once it has been moved into the birth canal. This is done if life outside the womb is impossible, as in such cases where a fetus develops without a brain.
A "9 month abortion" isn't real, not in the way Donald Trump thinks it is.
I respect every single person's right to choose, but I think that in order to make decisions well, you need to have all of the facts.
Dangerous rhetoric about abortion, like what was bandied around by Donald Trump, puts women's lives in terrible danger. End of story.