In one of their publications, the pro-abortion group NARAL states:
“Eggs and sperm are alive; so are bacteria and all plants and animals. Of course, embryos and fetuses are alive. That doesn’t mean, though, that abortion should be illegal or that it constitutes murder. The Supreme Court has said…that legal personhood begins with birth.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin “Anti-Choice Statements – Pro-Choice Responses,” quoted in Carla Mooney Should Abortion Be Legal? (San Diego, California: Reference Point Press, 2014) 29
A preborn baby, like the one below, is more than merely “alive” in the same sense as bacteria and plants. She is a living human being.
Nancy Kreuzer from Illinois talks about her abortion and its aftermath:
“My baby was 22 weeks, I was five and a half months pregnant, when I was told that she had water on the brain (hydrocephalus) and was advised by my doctor to “terminate the pregnancy.”
It was explained that the abortion would be a simple procedure. My husband and I were told we could leave this behind us, get on with our lives and try for another baby…
It was not, as the doctor described, “simple.” At the abortion clinic no one asked how I was or explained what was happening to me. I felt alone, afraid and devastated. While I sat, waiting for the doctor to arrive, many nurses and workers in the abortion clinic casually walked by me. I sat there for hours. Tears streamed down my face but no one talked to me, no one acknowledged my pain.”
After the abortion, she says:
“The day after my abortion, I felt numb. I left the abortion clinic with no baby to bury, no doll-size casket, no funeral service, no grave to adorn with flowers. I vomited in the parking lot and rode home in silence.
No one brought meals, no one sent cards, no one called, because I had been too ashamed to tell anyone what I had agreed to do. In the weeks that followed, I tried to bury the memory of the abortion and not look back.
In the months and years afterward, there were clear signs that the scars of my abortion existed, but I didn’t recognize them at the time. Interestingly, I assumed I was doing just fine. But below the surface, I was unusually fearful.
As time went on, I often had the sense that I wanted to run and I had repeated nightmares of running from something horrible. I would awaken panicked, unable to sleep the rest of the night. There was an internal sadness, not visible to the world.”
Quoted in Janet Morana Everything You Need to Know about Abortion – For Teens (Gastonia, North Carolina: TAN Books, 2021) 82 – 83
Judy Mathe Foley, the former managing editor of the national magazine of the Episcopal Church, says:
“Suppose Jesus were to meet a 20th-century woman who works every available overtime she can in a hospital emergency room at night and goes to nursing school during the day the whole time her teenage daughter and son are in high school. She often feels guilty about not spending more time with them, but they are cooperative and loving.
Now, just as they are about to become the first in her family ever to go to college, she finds herself pregnant. Knowing she will not be able to meet tuition payments if she must care for another child, and unable to bear the thought of telling them that what they’ve all worked for so long just can’t be, she has an abortion.
Would the Jesus of the parables automatically condemn her? Would he quote a law prohibiting “abortions of convenience”?
When a man too sick to get the healing waters approached Jesus on the Sabbath, a day on which Jewish law prohibited doing any work, did the Son of God say, “Sorry, today’s my day off. Take two aspirins and call my office on Monday”?
That image of Jesus jars… it’s so far from the way he would act…”
Judy Mathe Foley “A Faith-Filled Talk of Life and Death” in Phyllis Tickle, ed. Confessing Conscience: Churched Women on Abortion (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1990) 74
As much as we can sympathize with the mother trying to do the best she can for her born children, it’s hard to picture Jesus approving of doing this to a baby.
The pro-life group Live Action just released a video where former abortionist Kathi Aultman describes a second-trimester D&E abortion.
I’m a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with almost 33 years of experience, and I’ve completed over 500 abortions.
Today I’m going to describe a second-trimester surgical abortion called dilation and evacuation or D&E. A D&E is generally performed between 14 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Before a D&E abortion can be done, the cervix must be dilated slowly over one to two days with laminaria or a similar product. laminaria is a type of seaweed that absorbs water and swells to several times its original diameter.
When the woman undergoes the evacuation portion of the procedure. She lies on a table with her legs in stirrups. She may be given injections of local anesthetic in the cervix, IV conscious sedation, or general anesthesia.
The abortionist uses a speculum to open the vagina and uses an instrument to stabilize the cervix. Metal dilators may be used to further open the cervix if needed.
Once the cervix has been stretched open a cannula attached to suction tubing is placed inside the uterus. The suction machine is then turned on and the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is suctioned out. The fetus is too large to fit through the cannula, so he or she must be removed in pieces with a clamp such as this sopher clamp.
A sopher clamp is made of stainless steel and is about 13 inches long. At the tip there are rows of teeth for grasping.
The abortionist reaches into the uterus with the clamp and tries to grasp an arm or leg. Once the abortionist has a firm grip, she pulls forcefully in order to remove the limb. Piece by piece, the abortionist removes the arms and legs followed by the head or the body, including the torso and pelvis. Along with the intestines, the heart and the lungs.
The placenta is also removed. If the cervix has been over-dilated, the body or even the entire fetus may be pulled out intact.
Usually, the most difficult part of the procedure is extracting the fetus’s head, which at 20 weeks is about the size of a large plum. The abortionist must open the clamp widely to grasp the head and then crush it so that it will fit through the cervix.
The abortionist knows she has crushed the skull when a white substance, the fetus’s brains, leaks out through the cervix. The abortionist then removes the compressed head.
Any remaining limbs, organs, bone fragments, or pieces of placenta not removed with the forceps are removed by scraping the uterine lining with a large curette or by reinserting the suction cannula.
The abortionist then reassembles the fetal parts to make sure that there is nothing left inside the uterus which could cause infection or bleeding. Once all the parts have been accounted for, the bleeding has been controlled, and all the instruments have been removed from the vagina, the abortion is considered complete.
For the woman, this procedure carries the risk of major complications, including perforation or laceration of the uterus or cervix, with possible damage to the bowel, bladder, or other maternal organs. Infection and hemorrhage can also occur which can lead to death. Future pregnancies are also at an increased risk for loss or premature delivery due to abortion-related physical trauma and injury to the cervix.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I used to perform abortions. At the time I truly believed I was helping women. After the birth of my daughter, however, I realized that abortion doesn’t just undo a pregnancy, it kills an innocent human being.
Such terms as zygote, embryo, or fetus are simply terms that refer to age, like infant, toddler, and adult, and do nothing to diminish the humanity of the child.
As I cared for women in my OB-GYN practice, I also learned how abortion harms women. I stopped doing abortions because I could no longer kill babies just because they were unwanted. I am now a pro-life advocate.
I am proof that anyone can change no matter who they are, or what they’ve done. I invite you to join me and make a decision to protect the preborn.
A doctor who did illegal abortions in the 1930s wrote in his 1939 book:
“… I have performed operations later regretted by the women when they wanted children and for some reason could not have them. That has made me more careful.”
Martin Avery Confessions of an Abortionist: Intimate Sidelights on the Secret Humor, Sorrow, Drama and Tragedy in the Experience of a Doctor Whose Profession It Is to Perform Illegal Operations (AJ Cornell Publications, 1939) 29 – 30
In her memoir, former abortion worker Andrea Abrams (who is pro-choice) describes how, after Medicaid regulations were changed, abortion workers coached pregnant women to falsely claim they were raped in order to get their abortions covered:
“The counselors were informed of the new regulations and laws…
Although everybody was careful not to say it openly, it was instantly apparent that the counselor could tell women about the Medicaid restrictions in a way that would suggest to the woman that she could claim to have been raped, thereby qualifying for medical assistance coverage.
There was no reporting requirement attached to the law at the time. So, when counseling, I could say, “Medical assistance will only pay for abortions that are the result of rape or incest,” and let the woman decide how to proceed from there.
I spoke with one or two women who immediately said that they had been raped. Others were not as quick to pick up the possibility, or too honest to do so.
I was facing a dilemma. Prior to my work volunteering at Blackwell, I had been a volunteer counselor at the Philadelphia rape crisis center, Women Organized against Rape, and was still active there.
At WOAR, it was a core belief that women did not lie about being raped. In fact, the vast majority of rapes were, and still are, not reported. A woman who did report a rape was, in all probability, telling the truth. But I did not feel like I could counsel women, even indirectly, to say that rape was the cause of their pregnancy if it had not been.
However, I understood the position of women on medical assistance, who were no longer able to use it to pay for an abortion except by making this desperate claim…
I decided that it was time to stop doing pregnancy and abortion counseling. I could not handle the Medicaid dilemma, and felt that stopping altogether was one way to avoid it. I said goodbye regretfully to the other counselors, the volunteer coordinator, the doctors, nurses, and staff.”
Andrea Abrams Bearing Children: A Memoir of Choices (2019) 27, 28
OB/GYN Dr. Lori Buzzett describes how she went from pro-choice to pro-life:
Hi, I’m Dr. Lori Buzzett. And I’m an obstetrician gynecologist. I believed that the government shouldn’t have a say in what a woman did with her pregnancy. I felt that abortion shouldn’t be used as a form of contraception, but there were certain circumstances where I felt that it was acceptable for a woman to undergo an elective termination.
I began my training at a university based OBGYN residency program. In our training, we were actually required to go through the procedure and how to learn to do an elective termination.
My mentor showed me how to do the first abortion and then he had me take his seat and he walked me through the steps of the termination. And at the end, I just remember feeling very nauseated. As I left, I ran into one of the staff and he told me how proud he was that I had participated in that activity. And I don’t remember what I said to him, but I just remember thinking that is nothing to be proud of.
I knew that I would never do an elective termination, but I still held my pro-choice views at that time.
After I completed my residency, I entered into private practice and soon after that, my husband and I were expecting our first child. We were very excited. And because I had an opportunity as an OB to have an ultrasound early on, we were able to see our baby’s heartbeat.
I found myself lying on the ultrasound table, looking at a screen where our baby’s heart lay motionless. I left myself a little bit of time to cry, but then quickly collected myself and decided upon learning of our baby’s demise that I would spontaneously miscarry. I felt very responsible that I had lost the baby.
I shoved those feelings down, eventually miscarried, and soon buried myself back into my busy schedule of call and deliveries and surgeries. Because after all, once a woman experienced an early pregnancy loss, everything went back to normal, right?
The next six months [it] became more and more difficult for me to go to work. I finally confided my feelings with a close friend of mine, and she told me that I was grieving the loss of our child. I hadn’t let myself recognize my grief because of the following thought: if life didn’t begin until a baby could sustain itself outside of the womb, why was I in so much pain?
So, my pro-choice stance started to crack. As I continued on in my practice, I was given a new set of eyes with these revelations, and I began seeing the brokenness that these terminations were causing, and it has just made me realize that as obstetricians, we need to stop being complacent and allowing these babies to be disregarded.
When we completed our medical training, we took an oath to do no harm. And in what I’ve seen, there are two of our patients that are suffering when we allow elective terminations. It’s time for us to really take a hard look at what our profession is doing. And advocate for our patients’ health and well-being.
I would invite you to join me as we hold out our hands to help the most vulnerable in our society, our unborn children.
The authors of a study on teen pregnancy and the abortion decision found that:
“The knowledge that as a teenage mother they would not be on their own and still considered as a part of their family was crucial to many young women in their decision to continue [with the pregnancy].”
They quoted a teenage girl named Leone who decided against abortion. She said:
“If my mum and dad said they wouldn’t support me I think that would have changed my mind, because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to look after her.”
Sharon Tabberer, Christine Hall, Shirley Prendergast, and Andrew Webster Teenage Pregnancy and Choice: Abortion or Motherhood: Influences on the Decision (York, UK: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2000) 24
CG Richardson wrote a memoir about her postabortion trauma. She had four abortions and deeply regretted them. She describes the reaction of her boyfriend, Alex, to her pregnancy, and how his reaction led her to have an abortion:
“… Before long I was uttering this to Alex, “I’ve missed my period!” His response was not the reaction I expected! “So what do you want me to do about it?” I was crushed at his insensitivity! I became very upset at how cold and callous he was…
I had all but forgotten about it when next month rolled around and still “No Period!”…
“You’re pregnant?” questioned Alex. “Are you sure?”… He paced for a minute or two and said, “I can’t support a baby right now; I have big plans for my career! I don’t intend to stay a fast-food manager all of my life!”…
“I’ll arrange to have an abortion,” I said to Alex. I spoke it in haste hoping he would try to talk me out of it but he didn’t; instead, he let out a sigh of relief. “You want me to go with you?” he asked. I couldn’t believe my ears!…
As we talked further, he didn’t think he should have to pay for it all, so I agreed to split it with him!…
I had never realized how selfish he was before and I began to wonder how I ever cared about him at all.”
CG Richardson No One to Hear Their Cries (Lulu, 2007) 46, 47 – 48, 49, 52 – 53
While this may not fit the category of “coerced abortion” exactly, it’s clear that Richardson wanted her baby and it was the father’s decision to abort. She was not empowered by her abortion, nor was it her free choice.