Archive for April, 2015

The debate on anesthesia for babies before late-term abortion

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

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The Los Angeles Times yesterday reported on the “junk science” – as described by abortion advocates — behind new abortion restrictions enacted or under consideration in a number of states, including a bill in Montana that calls for babies beyond 20 weeks to be anesthetized prior to an abortion. Last month, the Washington Post wrote a story focusing specifically on the Montana bill, which has now been passed by the state legislature and is heading to the pro-choice governor for action.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, sent out a statement  urging Gov. Steve Bullock to sign this humane bill and make it law. Until abortion is unthinkable and illegal, I hope every state passes a fetal anesthesia bill.

What would be the reason NOT to?

Science has pro-lifers convinced beyond a doubt that children in the womb do feel pain at 20 weeks. Pro-aborts and the media that marches in lockstep with them say the science is “disputed” and there’s always a mention of a 2005 study reported in JAMA that found “evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.” Please note the wording. Limited evidence “indicates” that pain is “unlikely.”

In other words, they’re not sure. Also worth mentioning, two of the five researchers didn’t bother to tell the journal’s editors that they were personally involved in abortions and abortion advocacy.

Those who have no passionate views on abortion could reasonably come to the conclusion that babies in the womb halfway through pregnancy MIGHT feel pain.  Shouldn’t we then err on the side of caution and provide an in utero injection of painkiller to minimize the brutality of death by late-term abortion?

The reason pro-aborts oppose fetal anesthesia prior to abortion is because any measure that gets people thinking about the humanity of the child in the womb is bad for the bottom line for abortion profiteers.

Let’s take a look at what abortionists and former abortionists have said about late-term abortion.

In the medical textbook “Abortion Practice,” abortionist Warren Hern wrote:

The procedure changes significantly at 21 weeks because the fetal tissues become much more cohesive and difficult to dismember. This problem is accentuated by the fact that the fetal pelvis may be as much as 5 cm in width. The calvaria [head] is no longer the principal problem; it can be collapsed. Other structures, such as the pelvis, present more difficulty….A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus…”

This next description is from Priests for Life medical advisor Dr. Anthony Levatino, taken from his testimony before Congress in 2013.

“Look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the end are located jaws about 2 ½ inches long and about ¾ of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can.

“At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard–really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs.

The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush d own on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.”

For my book “Recall Abortion,” I interviewed Dr. John Bruchalski, who performed abortions in his medical residency but never again. One thing he told me about late-term abortion I will never forget.

“When you kill another human life up close and personal, it’s viciously brutal,” he said. “The baby fights back a little bit. When they get real big, they don’t want to be killed.”

After more than 20 years in the pro-life movement, I know there are pro-abortion people who could read Dr. Bruchalski’s words and not even flinch. But just imagine the reaction we might get if we talked about preborn puppies being torn limb from limb, watching their paws and snouts and tails being yanked out by the vicious-looking Sopher clamp. The outrage would be palpable.

But because we are talking about abortion, there is actually a debate. Shame on us.

(To read more on why we should take the practice of abortion off the medical shelves in America please read “Recall Abortion.”)

 

 

 

 

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