Dr. Grant Clark performed abortions for a while shortly after Roe versus Wade. He then left practice. He contacted Oregon right to life to tell his story.
From the interview:
Doctor: Well, most of the abortions I did were in the first trimester, the first three months, and it was done with a suction machine, a high powered suction machine, vacuum cleaner, dilate the cervix and put in the tip of the suction machine, and suction out the baby, which comes out in shreds. And after the procedure is over, you must make sure that you got all of the pieces of the baby. Otherwise, if you leave pieces in, it’s likely to cause an infection. Although, I’ve had several patients say afterward, a week after the abortion, they were still passing little baby parts. So it is-
Interviewer: The women would actually see-
Doctor: Oh yeah.
Interviewer: Recognizable body parts?
Doctor: Oh yeah. And not very much fun for them or for anyone else. Um..that was probably the most difficult part of the abortion procedure with the suction abortions, you had to go through what you suctioned out of the uterus and identify perfectly formed little arms and legs and little hands, skulls were usually crushed. Eyes and cute little noses- you just killed a baby. And I don’t care what you do, you can’t bring them back.”
When the interviewer asked what made Dr. Grant Clark call Oregon Right to Life, he said:
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“I saw a billboard and it said “the score of abortion: one dead, one wounded.” And I thought, no, one dead, and a whole bunch of people wounded, including the doctor, the nurses involved, the anesthesiologist, the grandparents, you know, the father of the baby… all of these people have been wounded.… Knowing that I’ve been wounded, and knowing that I’ve wounded others, talking about it and bringing it out is something that is not good at all, is useful. It’s time to make a decision, and say, “this has to change.” Our society can’t go on this way, of pretending it’s hunky-dory. It’s not. It’s murder….
There were 2 cases that were significant in my life, and one of them was the beginning of acceptance of 2nd trimester abortions, which were accomplished by putting a needle into the uterus, draining off some fluid, to make sure that you were in the uterus, not the bladder or somewhere else with your needle, and injecting into the uterus a very strong salt solution, which would cause a: the baby to die, and b: contractions to begin, very shortly after the salt solution was in there, and the mother would then abort the baby.
Interviewer: She’d deliver a dead baby
Doctor Clark: Deliver a dead baby. But in one case, she did not deliver a dead baby. It was a live baby that she delivered.
Interviewer: Do they not have their skin burned?
Doctor Clark: The skin was burned, it was hard to look at, and hard to realize that I killed a near-term baby. The dates that the mother had given me were wrong, and we had no real way of checking it at that time. Ultrasound and stuff has come in since then, so we can date a baby’s age fairly well, but not, not back then. And the baby was born alive and lived for an hour.
Interviewer: was it a girl or a boy?
Doctor Clark: I don’t remember, and I didn’t want to remember.… But at that point I said, “No more 3rd or 2nd trimester abortions…”
Interviewer: was the mother aware the baby was born alive?
Doctor Clark: yes, she was, and it was just a bad scene all the way around. I mean what was I supposed to do, smother it? Strangle it?… It was just, what do I do, so I took the coward’s way out and did nothing, and the baby died. As it probably would have anyway.
The other one was a little bit later and came on the heels of that one and that was a young lady who came in, unmarried lady, came into the office, wanted an abortion, would not settle for anything else, and, um, went through the procedure of the suction abortion and all I got out were some chewed up tissue, and I recognized no body parts at all, and so we sent the material, it’s called “the products of conception” (that’s the high sounding words that we used) to the laboratory as we did all the cases, you have to send it all in. And they gave me the report back saying, “this is products of a dead conception”, the baby had already died. And all I did was essentially a D&C, scrape out the insides of the uterus. Well, several months later, she gave birth to a full-term normal child. And then came the lawsuits. She sued me for not completing my work, not aborting the baby, and she also sued me for 18 to 20 years of child rearing costs, and then she sued me for all the pain and anguish she went through for having to go through labor, and I talked to my lawyer about it. And I said, wait a minute, what pain did she go through that she would not normally have gone through had there been no attempted abortion.
Interviewer: so she had a baby that died, and she didn’t know that she had another one living in her the same time.
Interviewer: so she was upset because somehow she still had a live baby?
Interviewer: this is why this woman was all upset, because she gave birth to a healthy, live child?
Doctor: I talked that over with the lawyer, saying, “what happened here is the absolute normal way a pregnancy is supposed to end. In what way is it malpractice for it to end up totally normally?” Then the other thing is, she adopted out the baby – and still sued me for child rearing charges between age 1, or zero, and 21 years of age.
Interviewer, so you’re saying, this experience put you up close and personal with a mother so intent on the death of her child?
Doctor: and also, so intent of making money out of it.
Interviewer: making money out of it, if it didn’t die… These people are really out there… It sounds absolutely unbelievable –
Doctor: The lawyer offered her $2000 if she would drop the case and get out of town. She did. That’s how it ended.… Except it didn’t end that way for me. I went through the cases, and more and more I was seeing, why are you there for the abortion, and there all selfish reasons. “It doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle. It doesn’t fit in with what I had planned and I dare not let anyone know I have been pregnant, because that might indicate that I had sex and oh my, that can’t get out.” Well, foolishness, and greed and… I said, enough.