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Intact Dilation and Extraction

Intact Dilation and Extraction


What is Intact Dilation and Extraction?


Intact dilation and extraction refers to a late term abortion that involves the dilation of the vaginal passage and a number of other procedures.  The abortion is sometimes induced by drugs, and the procedure involves collapsing the fetus’s head in order to let it pass through the cervix more easily. 

Intact dilation and extraction is often referred to as a partial-birth abortion.  Many states have made partial-birth abortions illegal, and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 made the type of abortion illegal and subjects physicians who perform the medical procedure to time in prison.  The federal law was challenged in the famous case Gonzales v. Carhart, but the Supreme voted in a 5-4 decision that the federal law is constitutional. 

The constitutionality of the law relates to the viability of the fetus, or the point when the fetus can survive outside of the womb. 


State Laws Concerning Intact Dilation and Extraction


The following states have specific laws that make partial-birth abortions illegal: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. 

Georgia statute makes a partial-birth abortion illegal if there is viability, and Montana and New Mexico have similar laws.  News laws concerning partial-birth abortions in New Hampshire and Georgia will become effective in 2013 according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The following states have laws for partial-birth abortions that are permanently enjoined with standards for other types of abortions: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 


Statistics and Facts about Abortions


There are few statistics about intact dilation and extraction abortions because the majority of these abortions are illegal unless there is immediate danger to the mother.  The following facts and statistics are provided by the Guttmacher Institute:


·         17 states require women to receive counseling before an abortion that includes information on any of the following: the link between breast cancer and abortions, the ability for the fetus to feel pain, and the mental health consequences of the procedure

·         22 states require at least one parent to approve an abortion for a minor, 11 states require at least one parent to be notified, and 4 state require notification and consent

·         women from 20 to 24 receive 33 percent of all abortions, and women from 25 to 29 receive 24 percent of all abortions

·         18 percent of women in the United State receiving an abortion are teenagers

·         42 percent of women receiving an abortion are below the federal poverty level

·         two percent of all women between 15 and 44 in the United States receive an abortion every year

·         half of all American women will experience an unintended pregnancy before they are 45

·         one in 10 women receive an abortion by the age of 20, one in four women will receive an abortion by the age of 30, and one in three women will receive an abortion by the age of 45