The RCOG stipulates that 'Feticide should be performed before medical abortion after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation to ensure that there is no risk of a live birth.' Live birth is to be avoided for 'emotional, ethical, and legal reasons.' But live births happen with medical abortions at earlier gestations and can occur prior to surgical abortions in the second trimester if labour is precipitated by cervical preparation agents. Furthermore, the very same emotional and ethical matters apply to surgical termination in the second trimester, because the same questions are raised regarding how best to end both a woman's pregnancy and a fetal life. I argue that if there are compelling reasons to perform feticide prior to second trimester medical termination, the reasons are even more compelling prior to surgical termination. Both women undergoing abortion in the second trimester and their care providers should have the choice of using feticide, regardless of the method chosen.
Wondering how to manage second trimester medical abortion or dilation & evacuation in the setting of an abnormally implanted placenta?
Looking for advice on advancing the gestational age at which you and your team provide? Have questions about cervical preparation, offering a choice of method, managing prolonged inductions, or anything else related to medical or surgical methods of abortion after the first trimester? Bring your questions along to this panel of five leading experts in second trimester abortion care. Experienced, new and curious providers are all welcome to contribute to what should be a lively and wide-ranging discussion.