The debate on anesthesia for babies before late-term abortion



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.”)





2 Responses to “The debate on anesthesia for babies before late-term abortion”

  1. elizabeth sharp says:

    I’m a 57yr old women who has lived in hell since my abortion when I was 20yr old in the bay area, ca. were the father of my baby held my shoulders down while the dr. sucked out my baby of 11 1/2 week. I remember them at planned parenthood in Oakland ca that it was just a blob of cells, a blood clot, and not even a fetus. I was in so much mental pain that I shut down, and let myself be lead to have this done. after that my boyfriend married another, and left me alone in my pain, that same week. after that I went down a road of smoking,drinking, party, so as not to feel my pain, shame.
    I’m a cradle catholic, by was never taught my faith or catechism after my frist holy communion, back when I was 7 yr old. And didn’t attend mass on a regular way, because of my own mother’s life style and sin.
    Nine months after my abortion I met the father of my children, I became pergant again 9 months after my new boyfriend also wanted me to have another abortion. and I refused, told him I would never do that again, I had a boy , 2yr later another boy, then 2 1/2 yr later a daughter.
    after my frist son we did marry in the church, and had all my children baptisted, frist communion, confermation, but not regular at attending mass. when I went it was alone or with my children, my marriage was filled with abuse, drugs, alcohol use, unfaithness, my husband destroyed our lives and our marriage. that is way my grown children refuse the church, and marriage.
    Six years ago I left my husband after his 4th affair on our marriage. I applied for anualment which took 3 yrs,. 6 yrs that I have been able to return to my faith and live and understand and repent through the saraments . but I still suffer every time I see about abortions, 7 yr ago is when I relizied that my 11 1/2 week old baby was a person a living soul that I killed, because I was weak in my faith, and let other tell me want to do. I found salvation in confession, and the sacarments of the catholic church. and have had many miracles and graces since I returned and consircated my life to the virgin of gundalupe, and devote my whole life to Jesus. after my aunnelment I took my name back, and professed , chaisty, poverty, and to obey the teaching of my lord Jesus, now and for ever. I still cry for my baby, and my grown children, I may live alone, but I know that I’m not alone as long as I look to Jesus always. He and almighty God and the virgin Mary, and all the angels and saints, are my strength. I have confessed many time my moral sins, and have tried living my life only by the 10 commanments and beaitues of Jesus Christ. I fast, Tuesdays,wendesdays, Fridays and all holy days. I pray 2 to 3 rosearys a day and the divine mercy all because of EWTN, and the programs.

    My 30 yr old daughter has just recently told me that she is 6 1/2 weeks pregnant, and doen’t want to get married, she did mention that maybe she should get rid of the baby. That’s when I explained how I won’t let her do want I did. She has deiceded to keep her baby, and have it baptisted in the church. She still refuses marriage, because of the abuse we suffered in my marriage. I just tell her to trust in God’s will. I don’t condeam, I will support her and her baby. She has been to confession, and wants to go to church , doesn’t feel welcome at my parish, she wants the old ways of mass, not the new wave of the mass. She still needs to understand our faith more, I know she is on her own jeronary. All I can do is be an exsample of our faith, and keep her and her baby in prayer morening,noon, and nite. I see so much evil in this world, and I pray always for so many who don’t know Jesus, our children and for the convertion of those who don’t know Jesus. Our chrunch is mainly the elderly, very few young families, or young people. only on the weekend do I see the young families, which are few.

    I thank you for your show on EWTN, all of you were and are a very important part of why I came back to the church and the faith,
    God be with you all I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sincerily, with Gods Love
    Elizabeth Maria Sharp

    • Janet Morana says:

      I just saw your comment as I have been away from the blog for some time. Thank you so much for sharing your story and please know you will be in my prayers from now on. God bless you for saving your grandchild’s life. If you feel called, would you want to become part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign?

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