A D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion is typically performed in the first half of the second trimester (13-20 weeks), but can be used up to approximately 28 weeks.
At this stage of pregnancy, the fetus’ tendons, muscles, and bones are more developed.
For these reasons, we generally look to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Guttmacher Institute as sources.
The Guttmacher Institute is considered the research arm of Planned Parenthood and is clearly not on the pro-life side.
The cervix is dilated, and a hollow plastic tube with a sharp tip is inserted into the cervix and then into the uterus.
An aspirator attached to the tube tears the body of the fetus apart and suctions the pieces through the tube.
In a D&E abortion, forceps are inserted into the uterus to forcibly dismember the fetus, and the pieces are removed one by one.
Larger fetuses must also have their skulls crushed so the pieces can pass through the cervix.
Therefore, a D&E abortion usually requires two visits to the abortion facility.
A D&X (dilation and extraction) or partial-birth abortion is typically performed in the late second or third trimester.