Three years ago, Erika Christensen flew to Colorado and spent $10,000 to abort her unborn son at 32 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, she is an abortion activist who pushed her home state of New York to legalize abortions up to birth earlier this year. And this fall, she hopes to stop Colorado from passing a measure to protect viable, late-term unborn babies from abortion.
Christensen recently spoke to the Canon City Daily Record about her abortion at one of the last late-term abortion practices in the country, Warren Hern’s abortion business in Boulder, Colorado.
She said she was about 16 weeks pregnant when doctors discovered that her unborn son Spartacus had clubbed feet. As the weeks went by, she said doctors began to find even more problems; and at 31 weeks, her son was deemed “incompatible with life,” though she did not mention his specific diagnosis.
“The growth had fallen off a cliff, and my fluid was very high because the baby wasn’t swallowing,” Christensen said. “It’s how a fetus practices breathing. No swallowing means no breathing.”
She said her doctor in New York recommended Hern as a possibility if she wanted a late-term abortion. She did. Christensen and her husband booked tickets to Colorado and paid $10,000 to have Hern end their son’s life with a lethal injection to the heart, according to the report.
“The travel part was so enraging that it continues to infuriate us to this day,” Christensen said. “We were so angry we had to do it but at the same time grateful. We’ve met people who weren’t able to get care and were forced to carry doomed pregnancies to term.”
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Though she aborted her unborn son because of a potentially fatal disability, Christensen believes women should be allowed to have abortions for any reason – even in the third trimester.
According to the report: “Christensen said, her rights can’t be untangled from the 13-year-old rape victim or the woman who has three abortions just because she doesn’t want a child. She doesn’t believe in bans with exceptions for this or that because she doesn’t want government in the business of deciding who does and doesn’t deserve access.”
Hern is willing to do late-term abortions for basically any reason, too. According to research he compiled from his own patients, about 70 percent do not mention any fetal abnormalities – meaning they likely are healthy, viable babies.
Here’s more from the report:
Hern kept detailed records on his patients’ reported fetal anomalies over two decades — up to 2012 — and published his own paper detailing 160 different conditions cited in seeking abortions.
Some of the conditions were rare, like Leigh syndrome, which causes the loss of physical and mental abilities and is usually fatal within two to three years. But the most common anomaly mentioned was Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome: Nearly one in four of the 1,005 patients listed this genetic disorder as one of her reasons for seeking an abortion. Down syndrome can include heart and stomach malformations, but Hern’s data didn’t go into that level of detail.
Most of his patients, though, gave a reason other than a fetal abnormality. According to the paper, “the proportion of all patients seeking pregnancy termination for fetal disorder increased over time from 2.5% to 30%.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 8,300 unborn babies were aborted at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy in 2015.
Christensen and Hern both are advocating against a new Colorado ballot initiative that would protect unborn babies from late-term abortions. The measure, Initiative 120, would prohibit abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy in the state. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk.
The Coalition for Women and Children is collecting signatures for Initiative 120, also named Due Date Too Late in reference to the current law allowing abortions up to an unborn baby’s due date.
If pro-life advocates collect enough valid signatures from Colorado voters, the measure could be on the ballot in November 2020. To learn more, visit DueDateTooLate.com.
Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose late-term abortions.