Addressing Partial-Birth Abortions
For some, accepting the reality of partial-birth abortion is difficult. Does this gruesome abortion procedure actually exist? If it does, it must have only been used to save the life of a mother, right? Unfortunately, partial-birth abortion is real. Abortion doctors perform the abortion on healthy women who do not want to be pregnant. The end result is the brutal death of a partially-born child.
Indifference has set in because the issue has been clouded. Some proponents of abortion stated that the issue of banning partial-birth abortions is more about ending abortion rights. Other abortion advocates stated there is no such thing as a "partial-birth abortion" and that such a term has no medical meaning.
This fact sheet produced by Right to Life of Michigan addresses partial-birth abortions. It contains information about the attempts to ban partial-birth abortion, description of the abortion procedure, information about the number and reasons behind partial-birth abortions, the opinions of experts in fetal medicine and the American Medical Association, and web sites where additional research information on partial-birth abortion may be obtained.
Attempts to ban partial-birth
As knowledge of this procedure increased across the country during the early 1990s, prolife legislators began to push for a ban on partial-birth abortion. On November 1, 1995, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 288 to 139 to pass the ban on partial-birth abortion. On December 7, 1995, the U.S. Senate voted 54 to 44 to ban this procedure. President Bill Clinton vetoed this bill on April 10, 1996.
In response to the Carhart ruling, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 which provides a more exact definition of partial-birth abortion and contains Congressional findings that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to save the health of the mother.
Description of the procedure
Haskell invented this new procedure to give himself and other abortionists an alternative method of completing second-trimester abortions. Haskell also says that this method can be used in the third-trimester. All of the quotes in the following paragraphs are directly from a hand-out provided at the National Abortion Federation seminar in D&X or partial-birth abortion is a three day procedure. During the first two days, the pregnant woman's cervix is anaesthetized and dilated. On the day of the operation, the abortionist uses an ultrasound to find the "approximate location of the lower extremities." The abortionist then inserts "a large grasping forceps" into the uterus. "When the instrument appears on the sonogram screen, the surgeon is able to open and close its jaws to firmly and reliably grasp a lower extremity." The abortionist then pulls the lower extremity into the vagina. "With a lower extremity in the vagina, the surgeon uses his fingers to deliver the opposite lower extremity, then the torso, the shoulders, and the upper extremities." At this point the child's entire body is outside of his mother except for his head.
The abortionist then finds the base of the skull and "forces the scissors into the base of the skull. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents."
What are medical experts
PHACT also points out that the "partial-birth abortion procedure itself can pose both an immediate and significant risk to a woman's health and future fertility. To forcibly dilate a woman's cervix over the course of several days risks creating an 'incompetent cervix,' a leading cause of future premature deliveries."
Why are partial-birth
In terms of reasons for having a partial-birth abortion, Dr. Haskell is quoted by the American Medical News as saying, "In my particular case, probably 20 percent are for genetic reasons. The other 80 percent are purely elective." During 2009, there were at least 223 abortions performed in Michigan after the 20th week of pregnancy. Michigan was recently ranked last in the country by the National Abortion Rights Action League for offering women access to abortions, however, second and third trimester abortions are performed in Michigan.
A February 1, 2001, Detroit Free Press article reported that abortionist Dr. Jose Higuera might be criminally prosecuted in Michigan for performing an abortion after the 28th week of pregnancy. The prosecution of Dr. Higuera stemmed from an abortion performed in 1996 with no "health" or "life" reason for the mother. The woman, whose identity was not disclosed in the Free Press article, stated she did not know she was so far along in her pregnancy.
While many people do not realize that an abortion can be legally performed throughout all nine months of pregnancy, the truth is abortions can be performed for any "health" reason at any time.
Issue of anesthetics
When the president of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Dr. Norig Ellison, heard this, he testified, "There is absolutely no basis in scientific fact for that statement . . . I think the suggestion that the anesthesia given to the mother, be it regional or general, is going to cause brain death of the fetus is without basis of fact ."
Dr. Martin Haskell has even said that about a third of the children die from intrauterine stress and ruptured membranes due to the dilation (nothing to do with the anesthetic) but the other two-thirds weren't dead before he started removing the fetus .
and Partial-Birth Abortion
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Cameron Brown, would have made it a felony to perform a partial-birth abortion, unless the mother’s life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury. Sen. Brown said that banning the barbaric procedure, which involves partially delivering the baby and then stabbing the baby’s head and suctioning out the brains, is something the vast majority of people can agree on.
2 - Senate
Judiciary Committee Hearing record J-104-54, Nov. 17, 1995, p. 153
Produced by: Right to Life of Michigan, PO Box 901, Grand Rapids, MI 49509, www.rtl.org
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