million unborn babies have been killed nationwide in the 26 years since
abortion was legalized by the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court
decision. Contrary to what many believe, today in this country an unborn
child can be legally killed at any time throughout the entire nine months
of pregnancy - simply because he or she may be unwanted, inconvenient,
imperfect or even the "wrong" sex. An estimated 1.2 million
babies are killed annually by abortion... one baby approximately every 24
several methods of abortion:
This method -
also called "vacuum aspiration" or "vacuum curettage"
- is used in 90% of all abortions performed during the first trimester. A
tube (often with a sharp cutting edge) is inserted through the cervix into
the uterus and connected to a strong suction apparatus. The powerful
vacuum dismembers the tiny baby and placenta, tearing them to pieces and
sucking them into a collection bottle. Although the baby is extremely
small, body parts are often easily identified, and the abortionist will
typically do so to ensure all contents of the uterus have been removed.
This method sometimes follows a D & C abortion. Infections, damage and
pain in the cervix and uterus can result.
and Curettage (D & C)
abortions are usually done before 12 weeks. The cervix is dilated to
permit the insertion of a loop-shaped knife which is used to cut the baby
into pieces and scrape him or her from the uterine wall. Body parts are
pulled out piece by piece through the cervix. The scraping of the uterus
typically involves more bleeding than from a suction abortion and
increases the risk of uterine perforation and infection.
regimen actually involves the use of two synthetic hormones: the
French-developed "abortion pill" called mifepristone
and a labor-inducing drug, or prostaglandin, usually the generically named
misoprostol. Used between the
fifth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, this procedure requires at least two
visits to the clinic or hospital. On the first visit women are given a
physical exam to rule out contraindications - smoking, obesity, high blood
pressure, diabetes, anemia, allergies, epilepsy, asthma or age
restrictions (under 18 or over 35) - which could make the drugs deadly.
The RU 486 drug (mifepristone) is taken to inhibit the production of
progesterone, the hormone which prepares the nutrient-rich lining of the
uterus. As a result the tiny developing baby literally starves to death as
the womb's lining sloughs off. At the second visit women are given
misoprostol to induce contractions and cause the dead baby to be expelled
from the uterus. While most women abort during the waiting period at the
clinic, many abort later - up to five days later - at home, work, etc. A
third office visit includes an exam to determine whether the abortion is
complete or a surgical abortion will be necessary to complete the
procedure. RU 486 can cause severe disabilities in babies who survive the
abortion, can injure and possibly kill women and could harm a woman's
subsequent offspring. Preliminary findings in clinical trials and other
studies reveal serious under-reporting of the abortion technique's adverse
side effects. While now only licensed for use in China and certain
European nations, RU 486 is being tested in other countries with the
objective of extensive marketing over the next several years. Final FDA
approval for RU 486 is contingent upon finding and approving the
production process of the drug; at this point, however, pro-abortion
forces have encountered difficulties in securing a U.S. manufacturer.
have discovered that the prescription drug methotrexate (often prescribed
to combat cancer), when used with misoprostol, can induce abortion during
the first trimester. Both drugs act on a woman's reproductive system:
methotrexate kills the rapidly growing cells of the trophoblast, the
tissue which develops into the placenta, and misoprostol causes uterine
contractions to expel the baby. This regimen also involves multiple clinic
or hospital visits. After receiving an injection of methotrexate the woman
returns 3 to 7 days later to receive the misoprostol vaginally. She
returns home, where cramping and bleeding begin. The baby is usually
aborted within 24 hours.
It is worth
noting that methotrexate is a highly toxic drug with side effects and
complications such as nausea, pain, diarrhea, bone marrow depression,
anemia, liver damage and lung disease occurring even at low doses.
Manufacturer warnings claim that deaths have been reported with the use of
methotrexate, and even some doctors who support abortion are reluctant to
prescribe it because of its high toxicity and unpredictable side effects.
Long-term effects of the two drugs are unknown.
As with the
RU 486 regimen, women using this form of chemical abortion must
participate more directly in ending the life of their unborn children,
having to verify - often by themselves - that the "uterine
contents" have been passed and the procedure is complete.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, many RU 486 advocates fail to see the
negative psychological consequences of such an experience.
AND THIRD TRIMESTER
and Evacuation (D & E)
Similar to a
D & C abortion, this method also necessitates the forced dilation of
the cervix. Metal forceps with a sharp cutting edge are used to grasp and
pull the baby from the womb. The entire body is removed piece by piece.
Because the baby's skull has typically hardened to bone by this time it
must sometimes be compressed or crushed in order to be removed from the
uterus. As a result, women undergoing this procedure have a higher risk of
cervical laceration. Ironically, even some abortionists find this
procedure distasteful, as the process of using forceps to twist and tear
the baby's body from the womb is undeniably traumatic.
A saline - or
salt poisoning - abortion procedure may be used after sixteen weeks when
enough fluid has accumulated in the amniotic sac surrounding the baby. A
long needle is inserted through the mother's abdomen to remove and then
replace some of the amniotic fluid with a solution of concentrated salt.
The baby breathes in and swallows the solution and usually dies in one to
two hours - though sometimes death takes many hours - from salt poisoning,
dehydration, convulsions, hemorrhages of the brain and failure of other
organs. The baby is literally burned inside and out by the strong salt
solution. The baby's thrashing, caused by the trauma of the saline, can be
physically painful to his mother and is often psychologically devastating
to her. The mother goes into labor and a dead baby is usually delivered
within 24 to 48 hours.
causes a woman to go into labor at any stage of pregnancy. It is generally
used in middle to late pregnancy to induce abortion. The potent,
hormone-like drug is injected into the amniotic sac to produce labor and
premature birth. In some cases the unborn baby is born alive and placed
aside to die. In order to avoid what some abortionists call "the
dreaded complication" of a live birth, it is now customary to kill
the child first before "evacuating" him or her from the womb.
Using ultrasound, the abortionist directs a needle containing an injection
of lethal potassium chloride into the unborn baby's heart. Other
abortionists use an injection of digoxin to cause fetal cardiac arrest.
Sometimes salt is injected to kill the baby before birth and make the
procedure less stressful for the mother. Prostaglandins are accompanied by
serious problems of their own, including potentially lethal side effects.
and Extraction (D & X or Partial-birth)
unveiled in 1992, this method is used to kill babies from 20 weeks through
full term. Because the baby is considerably larger and more well developed
at this time, the opening of the woman's cervix must be greatly enlarged
in order to perform this abortion. The entire process requires three days.
On the first and second visits the woman receives laminaria, cylindrically
shaped or tapered devices which are inserted into the cervix and gradually
increase in diameter as they absorb water. When the cervix has been
sufficiently dilated the abortion is performed. The abortionist ruptures
the amniotic sac and drains the fluid. Using ultrasound, the abortionist
ascertains the baby's position within the uterus. Forceps are used to turn
the baby so that he or she is oriented feet first (breech position) and
face down. The abortionist then grasps one of the baby's legs and pulls
the entire body, with the exception of the head, outside of the uterus.
Because the head is usually too large to deliver, the abortionist uses a
sharp pair of surgical scissors to stab the base of the living baby's
skull, spreading the scissors to enlarge the hole. The scissors are
removed and a suction tube is inserted into the skull opening to
"evacuate" the brain. This kills the baby and collapses the
head, allowing the abortionist to fully deliver the child.
It is worth
noting that most babies at this stage of development weigh at least a
pound, measure approximately 8 inches in length and are fully formed, with
feet roughly 1 inch to 11/2 inches in length. Babies born at this point in
pregnancy (19 or 20 weeks) have survived.
or Caesarean section abortion is used in the last trimester. The womb is
entered by surgery through the wall of the abdomen. This abortion
procedure parallels a Caesarean section live delivery except that the baby
is killed in the uterus or allowed to die from neglect if he or she is not
dead upon removal. Because the "complication" of a live birth is
a significant risk with this method, many abortionist prefer the more
"effective" partial-birth abortion procedure. As with any major
surgery this abortion method has inherent risks and a potentially painful
recovery for the mother.
Randy, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments, Multnomah Press, Portland
Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR, 05/95, p. 29, Table 3.
Alan, Family Planning Perspectives, May/June 1994, Vol. 26, p. 101.
Right to Life Committee, Choose Life, "Pro-Life Leaders Protest New
Abortion Drug Duo," September-October, 1995. Seachrist, Lisa.
Court, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, (1973).
M.D. and Mrs., Abortion Questions and Answers, Hayes Publishing Co.,
Cincinnati, OH, 1990.