Patterico's Pontifications


What Partial Birth Abortion Actually Involves

Filed under: Abortion,General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

Here’s a quote from the partial-birth abortion opinion, just so you know what we’re dealing with.

Here is another description from a nurse who witnessed the same method performed on a 26½-week fetus and who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee: “‘Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms—everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . .“‘The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. “‘The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. . . . “‘He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used.’”

A 26 1/2 week old fetus, by the way, has a decent chance at survival. And only a small percentage of babies aborted that late are done because of medical complications or fetal abnormality.

It’s not just about relieving the mother of the burden of carrying the child, you see. It’s also about her sacred right to see it dead.

You think I’m wrong?

What if the state were to say, concerning a viable child such as the one whose murder is described above, that it can deliver the child intact and alive — just as safely as it can abort it? If the mother is considering an abortion under such circumstances, I think the state should be able to force the mother to deliver, rather than have the abortion — as long as the state is willing to take custody of the child.

But of course, that would horrify abortion rights advocates. Because the mother has a sacred right to see the child dead.

More from the opinion:

Dr. Haskell’s approach is not the only method of killing the fetus once its head lodges in the cervix, and “the process has evolved” since his presentation. Planned Parenthood, 320 F. Supp. 2d, at 965. Another doctor, for example, squeezes the skull after it has been pierced “so that enough brain tissue exudes to allow the head to pass through.” App. in No. 05–380, at 41; see also Carhart, supra, at 866–867, 874. Still other physicians reach intothe cervix with their forceps and crush the fetus’ skull. Carhart, supra, at 858, 881. Others continue to pull the fetus out of the woman until it disarticulates at the neck, in effect decapitating it. These doctors then grasp the head with forceps, crush it, and remove it. Id., at 864, 878; see also Planned Parenthood, supra, at 965.

Just so you know what we’re talking about.

P.S. I love the citations there, which is why I leave them in. “And then the doctor vacuums out the baby’s brains and crushes its skull. See also Res Ipsa Loquitur, supra, at 666.” It just adds to the bizarre legalistic casualness with which these real-life gruesome issues are discussed.

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