By Dr. Arnold Halpern, former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic:
“There is no difference between a first trimester, a second trimester, a third trimester abortion or infanticide. It’s all the same human being in different stages of development. I finally got to the point I couldn’t look at those little bodies anymore.”
Krishna Dharma Dos “Dying to be Born” Congregations of UK and Ireland Jan 11, 2010
I came to Washington in the summer of 1973; just after Roe V. Wade. I was 19 and in the middle of a divorce with 2 small children and I needed a job. Having never worked before, but with some medical receptionist training, I went to apply at a medical office next door. The doctor was younger; mid-thirties. The interview was going well, I thought, as I didn’t have any experience. “How do you feel about terminations?,” he asked. “I don’t know what that is,” I answered sheepishly. “Well, we are a family practice office; that includes doing abortions two days a week… how would you feel about doing that?” He studied my face waiting for my answer. “Aborting babies? I’m not sure I can do that.” – fearful I had just cost myself the job. “Oh, NO!” he explained. “We don’t do that! A baby is something that weighs nine pounds, has blond hair, blue eyes and bounces on a grandpa’s knees. What we do here is simply expose tissue… Just a blob of tissue. I am the son of a Baptist minister; if this were wrong I wouldn’t be doing it! Just remember…we do what we do for the women.” I needed this job. I knew what I needed to say…and I said it. “Well, it’s better than being an unwanted and unloved child like I was. “You’re hired!” I was excited to realize I was about to earn my first paycheck. What I failed to understand at that moment is what working for this doctor was going to cost me.
Even though my training was front office skills like making appointments, transcription, etc., I was hired to work in the back office lab. The three days a week of true family practice was mundane stuff. Taking blood pressures, helping with kids exams, re-setting exam rooms after patients had been seen. The real job was Tuesdays and Saturdays. These two days always began with the doctor coming out into the waiting room full of frightened or nervous women. He would always jump up on the receptionist counter and give his “pep talk”…. always giving his “disclaimer” that he was the son of a Baptist minister…”
My training had been simple enough. The doctor’s head nurse showed me how to sterilize instruments, arrange the procedure trays to the doctor’s liking and how to set up the buckets of red liquid to soak instruments before going into the steaming chamber along with filling syringes; small and big. I was comfortable, so far. It was explained to me that first “termination day” that I was also going to be responsible for disposing of the contents of the large, white suction machine before me. I watched dutifully as the nurse wrapped the jars with a sterile drape; securely taping the ends. “We don’t want to upset these poor women who are going through enough already!” Then came the unexpected threat, “Just remember one thing; it’s your job if even one woman finds even one drop of blood on the toilet when you flush the jars!” Message received.
And so it began. The women were scheduled like clockwork. A finely-tuned operation. Five rooms loaded up with women of every description. Some looking very poor and desperate; most looking very wealthy…and very blaze’. The first abortion was in the exam room right next to the lab. When I heard the doctor turn on that suction machine and I heard the horrific sounds… a slurping, gulping…high pitched… like a vacuum cleaner with something stuck in the hose! It was shocking and awful! But, there were worse things yet to come. Soon after… the used tray was shoved at me. “Here ya go!” the nurse said, laughing…was that a snicker?
When I lifted the drape off the tray, it didn’t seem that bad. Not too much blood I thought, I can do this…but as I began to do one tray after another I quickly learned that not all trays would be the same…and I began to systematically gag. Especially when I would unscrew the vaginal speculum and “blobs of tissue” would fall into my bare hands. I was never instructed to use or offered gloves. It was beyond disturbing… I had to find a way to endure this, so I would just turn my head away and quietly whisper, “I’m just washing dishes..Just washing dishes…”
But by far, the worse part of the job was emptying those jars every day; and more than once. “Tissue” by the handfuls plopped in the toilet every time, making quite a splash. I hated having to wipe the blood off with toilet paper, so I quickly learned to lay the jar opening down close to the bowl and gently pour. The most unnerving part was spying out the hallway to make sure I didn’t run into any of the women leaving after having their “procedures.” I had been warned of that as well. They clearly didn’t want these women knowing what we were doing to dispose of the “fetuses.”
Part of my duties in setting up the trays was the preparation of the syringes. The small ones were atropine; the numbing agent for the cervix, as I recall. But the big ones? I had to press them for an explanation. Well, we also do “saline procedures,” but I was told I would have no part in those since I was “new at this.” It took some time before someone finally explained it. This doctor also did late-term abortions removing the amniotic fluid and replacing it with saline to kill the “fetus.” A small piece of some kind of seaweed was placed in the vaginal cavity to assist dilation and then these women were sent to a local motel room specially set up for my doctor’s patients. Several beds in one room. The women were sent there to get bed rest and wait until they went into labor and then they were to meet the doctor at the hospital to deliver. I tried to imagine these women (8 beds to my recollection) all lying there waiting…what did they talk about? I decided I could not let my mind go there.
So, after a couple of months of gagging… it finally stopped. I took an almost robotic attitude about what I was doing…and kept reminding myself, “We do this for the women.” But there was one part of the daily “ritual” in the office I could never quite reconcile in my mind with that statement. The “count and the amount” celebration at the end of the day. How many? How much? After all women were “done and gone,” we all met in the reception area for the day’s tally. I would always stand back in awe and watch. Piles of cash…always cash…no checks accepted. We were doing an average of 50 women two times a week. The price varied according to how far along women were: between $200-$500 a head. At an average of $350, that was $17,500 a day. Times two: $35,000/week for a total of over $150,000/month NOT including the other 3 days/week…and this was 1973!
The goal was to make enough money to pay for the new building, under construction, that was to be a full time abortion clinic, set to open at the end of the year…just in time for Christmas! The holidays were busier, they said. So, this days-end celebration always had a happy air to it…. for them. I witnessed high fives with the office manager and the doctor…and his nurse…. they were especially friendly. Later, I was told she was the doctor’s girlfriend and I should watch out and not make her mad; especially no flirting with the doctor. “You are too young and cute for your own good,” the manager warned. “Watch out!”… No problem there. There was something about this man…no, it was all “for the women.”
About six months had gone by and while I would love to say it began to get to me…it did not. I actually got very accustomed to it all. Until that day…
I am ashamed. I have forgotten her name. I will never forget her face. She was blond, blue-eyed…and probably bounced on her grandpa’s knee. And afraid. Very afraid. She had lied about her last period. She had a “tipped uterus.” The doctor failed to recognize she was not the usual 8-10 weeks. She was 17 weeks pregnant. The doctor attempted to do the usual dilation “D & C” suction procedure… It went very wrong…horribly wrong.
My first clue was that the trays that I had waiting were backing up in the lab. No new trays that always “flowed like clockwork” were coming at me. I could actually hear voices “buzzing” in the waiting room. The front door of the office was opening and closing…and often. Angry voices at the front reception desk began to drift back down the hallway to me. I stood in the open door way…listening… what was going on? The exam room at the far end of the hall suddenly flew open and the head nurse came charging down the hall at me demanding I go in and “assist doctor…” I quickly did as I was told.
My accruing complacency was summarily shattered by what I witnessed when I stepped into the room. I stepped back against the door I had just closed behind me. The nice white exam room was awash in blood…splattered blood. Like some perverted artist who had dipped his paint brush in a gallon of crimson red paint and hap-haphazardly flung it all up and down the walls and across the ceiling…and this poor girl! She was laying there in obvious shock; shaking violently…and splattered all over with her own blood…and her baby’s! Doctor was in his customary position with forceps in both hands swearing up a storm and feverishly attempting to extract, “it.”
He seemed oblivious to me. My first instinct kicked me into action. I rushed to the sink and grabbed some paper towels. I leaned down close to this girl’s hear and began to whisper comforting reassurances to her. Words truly failed me as I tried to gently wipe the splattered blood from her face. All I could muster was to simply say repeatedly, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” She had no response. Save the silent messengers pooling in her eyes and running down the sides of her face into her damp, bloody hair. Suddenly now, I was in pain! The door had opened and I felt a clinched hand firmly grabbing my elbow; nails digging into my flesh. “Come with me!” came a growling in my ear through clinched teeth. I was in trouble…but for what?
The doctor’s girlfriend dragged me back into the lab and shut the door behind her. She erupted into an effusive, explosive rebuke. “WHAT did you think you were doing?! I sent you in there to assist the doctor, NOT the patient! Have you ever heard the word LIABILITY!?… I’m sorry!?…I’m sorry”?… was THAT your idea of assisting the doctor…talking to the patient like we had done something WRONG!?”
Just as suddenly as it had begun. It was over. The door opened and the doctor darted in. He didn’t seem interested in joining in on her verbal assault. He reached up and threw open a cupboard door grabbing a small, white, garbage bag. He opened it with one hand and in the other hand held a small “single version” of the Gomco unit suction machine…and without any hesitation or reservation, unceremoniously dumped the contents of the jar into the bag. He ordered his nurse to go prepare the patient for transport by ambulance for an emergency surgery procedure to complete her “termination.”
He scurried around the lab grabbing some instruments from one of my clean trays, I was not happy. I would have to redo that whole tray… then…suddenly… that didn’t matter. My eyes were fixed on the doctor…as he systematically began to “inventory parts”… body parts… NO!… BABY PARTS!… One perfect little leg…snapped off at the hip… then the other… one perfect little arm…snapped off at the shoulder…then the other… I could not even speak… I almost fainted with what came next! The entire spine…all vertebrae in-tack with the spinal cord and little wire like nerves dangling from both ends… no skin in sight…just bloody parts torn out of the back of this little child! “Good!” he declared with great relief. “I have everything here but the head and the trunk!” My stunned disbelief was interrupted with the doctor’s hurried instructions as he rushed to peel off his grotesquely sullied, white medical jacket and doing a quick look in the mirror hanging by the lab door and straightening his now disheveled tie, he flew out the back door to his car! “Don’t touch that tray until I call you from the hospital to give you the “all clear”…got it?” as he exited… I was clear… I waited for the call.
Over the next several minutes, I listened as women were rescheduled. Some leaving in tears…a few…a precious few, deciding not to reschedule. Where some babies saved that day? I will never know… all I remember is the waiting. I watched in disbelief as I watched the nurse and office manager enjoying the customary McDonald’s Big Macs, fries and colas that I had to get two times a week as we were so busy “helping the women.” We were not allowed to take a lunch hour. It was my job to walk the 2 blocks down the road and get take-out for us to gulp down in between each procedure. (I have not been able to eat a Big Mac since then.) My stomach that day was so nauseous I felt like I had morning sickness. Watching those two devour their food like nothing had happened was too much. But no time to indulge myself. The phone rang. It was doctor giving me the “OK” to clean up and call it a day. He sent word that all was successful.
I approached that single, stainless steel, medical tray with great trepidation. I knew this was going to be bad…messy. I reached out with my left hand and ever so slowly picked up the very soiled drape covering the instruments. I gulped with one eye closed and head turned sideways before looking… I was dreading this. As I held the drape to peer over the top of it… I felt something drop into my right hand that was resting open under the drape. I scarcely recall the gore of the instruments for the vivid, so indescribable… horrid recollection. I cast my eyes down; head tilted to the side to see what was in my hand. There…it… was. One tiny little foot snapped off at the ankle… Perfect…and with five miniature little toes! Everything suddenly went into slow motion…and I could not hear anything around me… until… there was that brash and haughty office manager grabbed the foot out of my hand and flung open one of the counter drawers grabbing a stainless steel, metric ruler. “COOL!” she exclaimed with gleeful delight! “THIS one was a whooper!”… And incredulously began to place the frail, little remnant on the ruler to measure it! All I remember is her face…eyes lit like fire… I think she said it was 5 cm. I just recall checking years later and realizing it was larger than the little foot pins pro-life supporters wear.
I thought I would vomit that day, even without lunch. I begged off completing my usual shut down procedures of the lab and said I had to get out of there and go home. I was clearly very ill. The office manager barely noticed and doctor’s girlfriend was now there in the mix engaged in the speculations of that tiny foot. I slipped out the back door and relished the fact that I had Sunday off before I had to return.
Monday came too soon. I had a physical to do on a five-year-old little boy who had just moved into the area and needed to be seen before he could go to school. My job was to prick his index finger and draw one small drop of blood to get a reading on the health of his blood. That was all it took… the room began to spin…I stepped back, leaning against the wall, shell-shocked – like I had just witnessed a horrible crime! Suddenly the doctor was at my side throwing off his latex gloves and demanding I join him in his office!
I was ready. I knew what was coming…but this time I would have a few words to say for myself! I had barely gotten in the room and taken a chair when he began his tirade rebuking me for being so “unprofessional.” I summarily interrupted and told him I didn’t think I could do this anymore after what had happened on Saturday. He was clearly disgusted and offered me part-time work for “family practice” days… Most of that conversation is a blur, but I remember ending it with this: “Doctor, you said this was for the women… you said “they are just blobs of tissue! What fell off in my hand was NOT a blob of tissue!”… I hastened to finish my point before I lost it… “I can’t do this any more!” The doctor wasted no time in getting on the intercom and instructing the office manager I had quit and she should prepare my last paycheck, totally unaffected by my euphony. He tried to get me calmed down before I left his office, but it was no use. I think because he didn’t want any scene as I left… The tears began to flow as I walked through a waiting room full of people. My last words were more to me than the puzzled spectators… “And what happened in that room was NOT for that woman!” I ran out of his office breaking into sobs as I blew out the door, not bothering to pick up my last paycheck. I wept uncontrollably all the way home.
It would be only a few more months and I fled Washington state in the midst of my own personal crisis with my children. I wanted desperately to get away and never look back! I moved to central California where I swore I would remain and never return to Washington state. I began engaging in reckless behavior of my own. Smoking marijuana… bars… going home with anyone who would have me…married or not.
I soon began to have a dreadful, reoccurring nightmare. I was in the bottom of a big, white toilet…suddenly huge amounts of bloody baby parts and buckets of blood began pouring down over my head, running down in my face; leaving me gasping for air! “STOP, STOP. STOP!!!” I would shout… “SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE IT STOP!!!!”…and then I would wake up panicked, helpless and soaking wet…and wailing… this went on for years.
I would find myself pregnant again, four years later and standing in the same desperate shoes of the tragic women who had gone before me in Washington. I was engaged. I had finally found someone to “love me”…and willing to care for my two children…even if, as I knew, he couldn’t care less about them. I walked into his beautiful home that he owned out in the countryside and gave him the announcement–I was pregnant…. and without batting an eye he said, “Hold out your hand.” As he reached for his wallet in his back pocket; clearly annoyed. He counted out $178 and told me in no uncertain terms, “Don’t let me see your face again until this is taken care of! Go to the women’s clinic on the west side of town and get this taken care of!”…funny how he knew right where to send me and with how much cash! I couldn’t get there fast enough.
The woman seemed nice. That “sweet” countenance – too sweet – like I saw in Washington. I was immediately scheduled for an abortion. But, this had a difference. They offered sterilizations with their services. Ah, but alas, I was only 23; the minimum age requirement was 25. I knew what I was doing. I knew what this meant. It was wrong. But I could not end up with 3 children with 3 different fathers! I begged. I got a call later… it was all set…they would do it all… Women’s Hospital of Oakland.
My sister, who was 25, single, and unable to have children, offered at the last minute to take my baby. What?! How ridiculous would that be?, I thought. Seeing a child I had given away all the time? What if I wanted it back and she wouldn’t give it to me? No!
I showed up, and walked through the process like a zombie! I was told it was a good thing I would be “out cold” as I wouldn’t feel a thing and there would be no emotional trauma for me being unconscious and all. What a stupid lie! I woke up to a nice looking doctor telling me all was well…well… except for one little complication….”You were a little further along than we anticipated… you were not 8 weeks… you were over 10 weeks… perhaps 13.”… My mind flashed back to that girl in Washington… and the toilet dream continued. When I showed up at my boyfriend’s home to let him know I had followed his demands and we could go forward with wedding plans, he wasted no time making it clear where things stood. “Do you REALLY think I would marry a woman who would murder her own child?” Game over.
She then goes on to say that she received healing through a church ministry and her conversion to Christianity.
“I wanted to be the world’s best abortionist, for the good of my patients. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. So, after I met each patient, reviewed the medical information gathered by my nurse, examined the patient and performed the abortion, I would then carefully sift through the remains to be sure all the parts were accounted for. I had to find four extremities (two arms and two legs) a spine, a skull, and the placenta, or my patient would suffer later from an incomplete abortion…My attention was so focused on my perceived patient that I managed to deny that there were, in fact, two patients involved- the expectant mother and a very small child…I had to wonder, how can having a child be so wrong for some people that they will pay me to end its life?”
Former abortionist Dr. Beverly McMillan
“How One Doctor Changed her Mind About Abortion” Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs
In her speech at The Meet the Abortion Providers Convention in Chicago, Dr. McMillan elaborates:
“One of the things that was starting to bother me was, as I said, I was trying to run the best abortion clinic in the country. We were just a first trimester abortion facility, and we did that on purpose too. We were new in the community; this was a conservative community; what we didn’t need was a bunch of complications. Complications increase with increasing size of the pregnant uterus, so we deliberately stopped at 12 weeks and we just did suction D&Cs. I would go in and meet my “well-counseled” patient; I would examine her, and then I would do the suction D&C procedure under a paracervical block. After it was all over, I would leave my patient on the table and I would go over to the suction bottle and I would take the little stockinette out and go outside the room to a sink where I would open the stockinette up, and I personally would pick through it with a forceps and I would have to identify four extremities, and a spine and a skull and the placenta. If I didn’t find that, I would have to go back in that room and scrape and suction some more, or else my patients would be showing up in 48 or 72 hours, just like those women at Cook County with an infected incomplete abortion.
Standing at that sink, I guess I just started seeing these bodies for the first time. I don’t know what I did before that. I think I just counted. I was cool. Blood didn’t make me sick. I could handle all the guts and gore of medicine just fine. But I started seeing this for the first time and it started bothering me.
Being medical director of the clinic, rank has its privileges. I made out the schedule of who worked when. So I just started making out the schedule so that I wasn’t scheduled to do abortions. I just directed. My fellow abortionists by this time loved it, because we got paid by the procedure and there was less pie to share with me. In fact, at that point, I was an unpaid employee of the abortion corporation because I did my medical directing gratis. So I can’t say that money was the reason behind our clinic. They’re all different, but that was how ours started.
I remember one afternoon in particular, a very attractive young woman who was the day-to-day manager of the clinic came up to the sink one day while I was getting ready to go through my little procedure, and she said, would you let me see? I’ve never really seen what you look at at the sink. I said, sure, and I started showing her. And this happened to be about a 12-week abortion, and that was about the farthest along we went. That day as I was showing her, I remember very clearly seeing an arm and seeing the deltoid muscle, and it just really struck me that day how beautiful that was. The thought just flashed through my mind: What are you doing? Here is this beautiful piece of human flesh here, what are you doing? That was one of the very last ones that I did.”
I went to work for a Sacramento abortion mill in the first week of September 1990. Before then, the word “abortion” had seldom passed through my mind, and I had no concept of what one actually was. I had lived a “dysfunctional” life and the sacredness of human life was not something I thought of much.
My official title at the mill was “health worker.” I did various duties-lab work, leading groups (deceiving women about their abortions), “advocating” (deceiving women during their abortions), and assisting the abortionist, which included helping during the abortion and checking to make sure all the parts of the baby were there in the collection jar afterwards. I will never forget, in the second-trimester abortions, holding those little feet up to a chart on the wall to make sure of the age of the baby.
Just like everyone else employed there I laughed at the pro-lifers outside the mill and hardened my heart against the truth. If I thought about what was really happening, it became overwhelming. So, I treated the whole issue as a joke-but somewhere along the line God started working on my heart. I started to read literature left by the pro-lifers, and pro-life books. I began to see what I was doing in a whole new light. I saw these babies for what they were-human beings. It was very hard for my heart and head to accept because I had been leaving both my heart and head at home for so long to work there.
From The Pro-Life Action League’s conference “Abortion: The Inside Story”. Dina Madsen says:
There was no medical background required for the job, you just had to be able to accept abortion. And of all the women I worked with several of those women, at least half of them had had abortions and had repeat abortions. And yet they wouldn’t let any of these guys [abortionists] touch them with a 10 foot pole. Never. And yet every day they told these other women, “they’re wonderful doctors, they won’t hurt you. They’re the best at what they do. He’s really a nice man.” And sometimes the women would ask, “have you ever had an abortion?”And of course they wouldn’t say, “yes but not by him.”
I have to admit though I didn’t really have much sympathy for them.[the women] In my view, well you got yourself into this position, tough it out.
So I was looking at these babies as something to be disposed of. I didn’t see them as important, I didn’t see life as important, I didn’t value my own life, therefore how can I value anyone else’s life. And if these women were stupid enough to get pregnant, then it was their fault. And that’s how I felt. And that was how the majority of the staff felt.
Some of the directors I worked with had eight or nine abortions, and we were the same people who would look down on these women when they came in for repeat abortions. How stupid can you get, you know?
And every time she’d come in for an abortion or a D&E, we’d stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp – some of these charts were filled in on both sides. And the doctor would take a look at them and say, “Gee, if she tries real hard she can come in again before Christmas.” And this is somebody who cares about women? I don’t think so.
I had a couple friends in high school who had had abortions, and I had a pregnancy scare myself when I was an adolescent, that was the first thing that came to my mind. I never thought about having the baby. I just took it as the general consensus, the general population does, that it is a choice, unfortunately it’s often presented as the only choice.
A woman would call, and I’d make her feel that this was her choice and that we were going to support her in this choice. Because the women are looking for someone to support their decision.”
This testimony was originally given at a “Meet the Abortion Providers” workshop sponsored by the Pro-life Action League of Chicago, directed by Joe Scheidler.
“Thank you for inviting me to the Pro-Life Action League’s fifth “Meet the Abortion Providers” conference, I think you will find my story of how I became an abortionist, unfortunately, somewhat typical, and my story of why I stopped, unfortunately, somewhat atypical.
I say “unfortunately” because it seems the majority of physicians who leave training today have been indoctrinated in [and have adopted] a pro-choice viewpoint. Even those of us who are strongly pro-life face tremendous pressures to support a national standard of care which does not honor the sanctity of human life. I will say more about this later.
I am 50 years old. I have been delivering babies in Indianapolis for 26 years; I lost count many years ago of the actual number, but I would estimate the total to be between four and five thousand. My father is also an obstetrician, now retired, who practiced obstetrics in Anderson, Indiana where I grew up. He delivered over 10,000 babies and has a strong pro-life viewpoint even though he is an agnostic.
I did all of my training at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. I rotated back and forth between the private Coleman Hospital for Women and the Marion County General Hospital for the indigent population. My residency was from 1970 – 1973. Since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision came down in January 1973, my career overlaps the years before and after that landmark decision. However, I became all too familiar with abortions from the very beginning of my residency.
Of course, I saw women whose social circumstances seemed desperate who asked to be referred for illegal abortions. Once, I asked an attending staff physician about such a referral, and rather than condemn it, he said he knew of a general practitioner who had the reputation of doing abortions. In retrospect, I asked the wrong doctor that question, but at that point in my life, I respected the opinion of all of my mentors.
About 1970 the state of New York passed legislation allowing abortions to be performed legally. This was not necessarily a popular choice. Referendums to legalize abortions in Michigan and North Dakota were defeated by 3:1 and 4:1 margins.
A few months into my residency, I came face to face with the issue of abortion for the first time. An 18-year-old Indiana University coed came into Coleman Hospital with lower abdominal pain. She related to me that she had been to New York City earlier that day to have a legal abortion performed at a clinic there. She had gotten on a plane at 8am at Indianapolis International Airport and flown to New York. She was taken to a legitimate clinic by a cab driver. She had believed she was two and a half months pregnant, but after the doctor had unsuccessfully attempted to abort the pregnancy, he told her she wasn’t really pregnant after all and sent her home. She returned to Indiana on the 4pm flight as planned.
When she returned home in terrible pain, she realized she was in trouble and for the first time, told her mother what had happened to her. Her mother contacted her own gynecologist, who in turn referred the patient to Coleman Hospital to be evaluated by the resident on call–me.
Even though I was still wet behind the ears, I know that this pale, frightened little girl was still 10 weeks pregnant and her blood count was only half of what it should be. The private, attending doctor came in and took the patient to surgery immediately that night, where he repaired the hole that had been torn in the back of her uterus, which had caused her massive internal hemorrhage.
Over the course of the next few days, infection set in which did not respond to antibiotics, and we made the painful decision to perform a hysterectomy. Tragically, the shock from the infection severely damaged her lungs and her course was steadily downhill. As I helplessly watched, she slipped into unconsciousness and a few days later she died.
I had difficulty putting the whole thing into perspective. Unfortunately, my conclusion was that there had to be a better way to perform abortions than to send patients off to a clinic in New York.
There was another kind of abortion being done at that time right in Coleman Hospital. These were so called “second trimester abortions” being done for “psychiatric” reasons. Although my textbook stated that true psychiatric indications for abortion were extremely rare, in practice it was relatively easy for a woman to get two psychiatrists to rubber stamp her abortion request for the price of a consultation visit. By the time all the paperwork was done, these pregnancies were more advanced and were classified as second trimester. Technically, these could be between 14 and 27 weeks, but usually they were 18 – 20 weeks along.
This type of abortion was then done by hypertonic saline injection. In laymen’s terms this meant injecting a very caustic salt solution into the amniotic sac which the baby swallows, causing his death. Labor begins 12 – 36 hours later, A well liked member of the teaching faculty would inject the solution and the patient was admitted to the gynecology ward to await delivery.
It was my job to go to the ward and pick up the dead baby from the labor bed and make sure the placenta had all come out. This was my least favorite duty as a resident, and again I concluded there had to be a better way.
Since hypertonic saline was so toxic if it was injected into the uterine wall instead of the amniotic sac; there was a constant search for the ideal drug. Prostaglandin has now become the drug of choice, but one of the early experiments was with hypertonic urea. The major disadvantage in using it, was the problem of live births. I remember using it on a patient that the psychiatric residents brought to us from their clinic from an institutionalized patient who really was crazy. I’ll never forget delivering her nearly two pound baby, and hearing her screams, “My baby’s alive, my baby’s alive.” It lived several days.
Later, I was taught by my chief resident that if I was delivering a defective baby, such as an anencephalic, I should place it in the bucket of water at my side and declare it a stillborn. I never did that, but I’ll always remember it.
The problem of live birth in second and third trimester abortions has been solved by the dilation and evacuation procedure, or D & E. The cervix is dilated with laminaria, which are pieces of dried seaweed which absorb water over a 12 hour period and stretch to 4 times their original size. The baby is then delivered piecemeal.
When I rotated over to the county hospital, I became familiar with illegal abortions and their aftermath. Every woman who came in with even a routine miscarriage was suspected of having had a criminal abortion. We were trained to be suspicious because of the consequences of missing the diagnosis of a perforated uterus.
We were all indoctrinated with the almost legendary story of how one of our preceding residents, Dr. James Brillhart, had gone out of the hospital and tracked down an old, dying abortionist who had been responsible for the deaths of several patients. Ironically, Dr. Brillhart has been one of the leading abortionists in Indianapolis from Roe v. Wade to the present day. The actual number of criminal abortions was small and although I saw some patients who were pretty sick, I don’t recall any patients during my three years who died from a criminal abortion.
At the county hospital, we received patients from the other two private hospital residency programs when they didn’t want to take care of a particular patient. Consequently, we looked down on those residents and developed the mind set that we were to take care of every problem we encountered. We would not “dump” problems on others.
When I finished my residency, I covered my father’s practice for 6 months before beginning a teaching position at Indiana University. I recall asking my department chairman what I should do about abortions, since my father was pro-life. His wise advice was not to perform them in Anderson.
However, when I returned to the medical center, I was placed in charge of the outpatient OB/GYN clinics at the county hospital, now called Wishard Hospital. Since Roe v Wade was now the law of the land, Drs. Joe Thompson and Bob Munsick were both performing abortions at Wishard. I greatly respected both men. I was faced with the direct question, “Would I also perform abortions at Wishard?”
I had already bought the big lies that “Abortion is a logical extension of family planning services” and that “All people needed to prevent unwanted pregnancies is more information and better access to contraception.”
I might add at this point that I was not encumbered by any personal religious beliefs at that time. As a teenager, I had expressed to my future wife, that I had a desire to know God and had joined her church, but I didn’t have any conviction of sin and I didn’t come to a saving faith at that time.
After studying science, I had come to an agnostic position with respect to God. Without a foundation of absolute truth, and under the influence of my peers, and based on my own experiences, I decided to do what was right in my own eyes and perform first trimester abortions for poor women at Wishard. I would be a good soldier and do my duty. A doctor’s duty, I believed, was to do everything in his power to fix what was wrong with his patient.
I believed in applying this medical solution of abortion to a societal problem of unwanted pregnancy. I believed that if these women were unencumbered by unwanted children that they could rise above their poverty.
I still believe that I was not in it for the money. In my teaching contract, I only got to keep 25% of anything I earned in private practice. At age 28, I was idealistic, immature, and too inexperienced in the way of the world.
In making the decision to do abortions, I went against God’s Word, the beliefs of my father and violated my Hippocratic Oath.
Incidentally, the section of the oath stating “I will not give a woman a pessary to induce abortion” has been deleted from the oath when it is used by new physicians today. I’m not sure Hippocrates would understand,
Between January and May of 1974, I performed 23 “pregnancy terminations” at Wishard. That is a euphemistic way of saying that I killed 23 children. One definition of a euphemism is a figure of speech where a less disagreeable word or phrase is substituted for a more accurate but more offensive one.
The deception in the language of abortion is achieved through the use of euphemisms. “Pregnancy termination” rather than abortion. “Menstrual extraction” rather than early abortion. “Products of conception” rather than baby and placenta. “Tissues” rather than flesh and bones. It makes it sound more like a Kleenex than a baby. Even “fetus” and “embryo” are Greek and Latin words for Baby. “Chorionic Villus Sampling” rather than placental biopsy. “Selective Multi Fetal Reduction” rather than random killing of several babies in an attempt to save the remainder of the lucky ones.
All of these terms dehumanize what is being destroyed so that we deceive others — and ourselves.
One of my idealistic bubbles burst in about April of 74, when a patient whom I had aborted in January, returned to me for another abortion. She was using abortion for birth control.
In order to tell you why I finally stopped, I need to explain a little about the technique of suction curettage abortion. Incidentally, I did them under general anesthesia in surgery. Today, most are done under local anesthesia in a clinic.
First, the cervix, or mouth of the womb, is stretched open with pencil shaped dilators, until it is open enough to insert the suction curette, which is a clear plastic straw like tube. A vacuum source is then attached to the curette. After the curette is introduced into the uterus, the water is broken and is seen through the curette, followed by bits of flesh and blood, which is what remains of the baby and placenta. The procedure works well because the baby is small at 10 weeks and is not calcified, so that it fits easily through the narrow tube. All parts become almost indistinguishable in the mesh filter bag in the suction jar.
My 23rd abortion changed my mind about doing abortions forever. This patient was a little overweight and ultimately proved to be a little farther along than anticipated. This was not an uncommon mistake before ultrasound was readily available to confirm the gestational age.
Initially, the abortion proceeded normally. The water broke, but then nothing more would come out. When I withdrew the curette, I saw that it was plugged up with the leg of the baby which had been torn off. I then changed techniques and used ring forceps to dismember the 13 or 14 week size baby. Inside the remains of the rib cage I found a tiny, beating heart. I was finally able to remove the head and looked squarely into the face of a human being — a human being that I had just killed. I turned to the scrub nurse standing next to me and said, “I’m sorry”.
I knew then that abortion was wrong and I couldn’t be a part of it any longer. No one was critical of me for what I had done, nor for having stopped. But I had a lot of guilt about that abortion and had flashbacks to it from time to time. I sometimes dreamed about it. The guilt lasted about four years.”
Dr. Jarrett then discusses his conversion to Christianity and explains how it helped him resolve the guilt that he felt from doing abortions.
Here is Dr. Brewer’s speech given at the Meet the Abortion Providers convention which was sponsored by The Pro-Life Action League in Chicago.
“You know, when Mr. Scheidler came to our room last evening to give us the program for the day, when he walked in I had forgotten how tall he is. It’s really neat to be able to look pretty much right-on into somebody’s eyes instead of looking down. I guess my dear mother and father did real good with the prenatal vitamins and also all those vitamins that were in vogue back in the 1940s when I was growing up.
You know, we all wear different hats and I have a lot of different hats, too. I’m a husband, I’m a father, I’m a doctor (OB/GYN), and I’m a concerned citizen about political issues and other issues of our day–and I was an abortionist, and am now known as what we call a cross-over; one who’s made the change. That’s due to my Lord, Jesus Christ, because Christ made a change in my life, and I want to share what that part of my life was like before and then after.
People are not naturally against life. Kids love other kids. Teenage girls (and we have several) like children. Mothers of children like children. There are trying moments, but we love our children. Fathers and mothers love their children. So, you have to be trained to hate children. We have to be trained against life. When we go to church, we don’t hear the pro-abortion story. When we read in the Bible, we don’t hear the pro-abortion story. When we talk with our mother and father about how they feel about us, etc., we don’t hear the pro-abortion story. When I talk with my mother about her and my dad having me, I don’t hear that they considered abortion. So the point is that we have to be trained to hate. We have to be trained to be against life.
Dr. Hill shared a little bit about his experience, and he took some of my lines. But it’s interesting, isn’t it, that two doctors who had done abortions before and went to different medical schools and trained in different areas of the country, and now are living and practicing in different areas of the country, would have a type of common beginning.
It happened after medical school as I began my residency in OB/GYN. You know, we learn on-the-job. A lot of medicine is on the-job training. A lot of medicine, including surgery, has a lot of skill that’s a mechanical, technician-type skill. Working on a car to fix it, putting in wiring in a home, doing plumbing, doing a Caesarean Section, doing a hysterectomy, taking a mole or a lump off, doing a D&C. A D&C is a common procedure that we use often in OB/GYN to get a sample of the lining of the uterus. For example, an older woman who is having trouble with bleeding, or a younger woman who had a problem with hormone balance or is/was having problems with her periods.
And so, as we learn that in residency, there came a time when we went to the clinic to learn about abortion. After all, abortion was just applying the technique of a D&C to a woman who was in a little different state–she was pregnant.
In 1973, when abortion was legalized, Dr. Hill mentioned New York (where I was trained, born and brought up) was one of the first states to go along with that. So I can remember in my training when they used to fly women from Ohio to New York to several of the doctors who worked at the hospital where I was training to have their abortions. Now there wasn’t a big local outcry in the community that I knew of, but I do know that as this doctor built a new house, funded partly by monies from these abortions, that his new home became known around town as “Abortion Manor.” So I began to understand that there was something about abortion that many people did not agree with.
We went to church as a family. We were taken to church, but we weren’t a Christian family. My parents weren’t Christians at that time; none of us were either. So as I went into residency, I didn’t have the type of moral and ethical background or preparation from the home that many people have. I didn’t have strong standards for myself.
I can remember that day watching the first abortion with the resident doctor sitting down and putting the tube in and removing the contents, and I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube and it went into a big jar. The first one. I’d never seen one before. I didn’t know what to expect. Well, it was my job afterwards to go undo the jar and see what was inside. It was kind of neat, learning about a new experience. I wasn’t a Christian; I didn’t have any views on abortion; I was in a training program; this was a brand-new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn, and that was exciting.
And it got more exciting as I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockinette and opened that little bag, and the resident doctor said, now put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all. I thought, oh, that will be exciting hands-on experience, looking at tissue. And I opened the sock up and I put it on the towel and there were parts in there of a person. I’d taken anatomy; I was a medical student; I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm and I saw some ribs and a chest, and I saw a little tiny head, and I saw a piece of a leg, and I saw a tiny hand, and I saw an arm. You know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I believe that God gives us all a conscience and I wasn’t a Christian, but I had a conscience and that hurt.
I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head, etc., and I turned and said, I guess you got it all. That was a very hard experience for me to go through, emotionally. If I’d been a Christian against abortion it would have been simple–I wouldn’t have been there. And if I’d been excited and wanted to do them and excited about the money that I’d make later in practice, I would have been on the opposite end. But here I was with no real convictions, caught in the middle.
So I did what a lot of us do throughout our life, we don’t do anything. I didn’t talk with anybody about it. I didn’t talk with my folks about it. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t look in the Bible because I wasn’t a Christian, and so I did nothing, and do you know what happened? I got to see another abortion.
You know what? That one hurt, too. But I didn’t do anything again and kept seeing abortions, and do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one. Do you know what happened next? I got to sit down and do one, because you see one, you do one, and you teach one, as Dr. Hill mentioned.
The first one that I did was kind of hard. It was like hurting again like a hot poker. But after a while it got to where it didn’t hurt.
I’m reminded of a summer when I was a 15-year-old boy, and, you know, when you’re 15 it’s tough, because you have to be 16 in New York State to get working papers, and so I wasn’t 16 yet and I wanted to earn some money and I couldn’t get working papers. I couldn’t work at a McDonald’s (I don’t even know if we had McDonald’s then!). But I couldn’t get a job and work in a place, so I decided to start my own little business. My dad had a lawn mower and I got a sickle and I had some trimmers, and went out and took care of people’s yards and had a little lawn and garden service. I did pretty well financially that summer. But, you know, the first couple of weeks, my hands hurt and I got big blisters. I was using tools that my hands were used to, all day, every day. That was like my heart when I saw and did abortions. But then you know, after a few weeks, I got calluses on my hands and pretty soon they didn’t look real good, but, boy, my hands could work all day and no blisters and no pain.
That’s what happened to my heart as I saw the abortions and then began doing them. My heart got callused. My heart was callused against the fact that I was a murderer.
That happens to us sometimes in life and it’s a hard thing. But I got so callused that when I was on duty at night some of the doctors who were in partnership with the doctor who lived in Abortion Manor would come in to do their saline abortions. These were women who were farther along, and they would do five in a night…line the women up all in one big room and put the needles in and put the salt solution in, and then there would be five therapeutic miscarriages, right? Five times 500 is 2,500. That’s not bad fifteen years ago for one night’s extra work. You do that a couple of nights a week and that’s a lot of money. But I really had no concept, having been through medical school even, of what was inside because when we got on the OB service we delivered normal, healthy babies most of the time. There weren’t very many miscarriages at four and five months. Once in a while we would see one.
But once they began doing abortions and doing the saline abortions, and I would take my turn with the other residents being on duty, guess who came in at night to take care of the women when they had trouble delivering the babies or had trouble delivering the afterbirths? The doctor who did it and made the money? No. It was me and the other residents. So I would go to a room and a lady would be screaming and crying and walk in, and here was like the “candy apple babies” that you’ve seen all scarred and burned from the salt solution, and the placenta would be stuck and we’d have to work with them, and once in a while we’d have to take them to surgery and do a D&C. Boy, that was grim! That was a lot worse than a little sock, because somebody else had to look through the sock now that I was a big resident and doing abortions and they had to check for me, so I didn’t have to look in the sock anymore.
But one night, a lady delivered and I was called to come and see her because she was uncontrollable. I went in the room and she was going to pieces. She was having a nervous breakdown, screaming and thrashing. The nurses were upset because they couldn’t get any work done and all the other patients were upset because this lady was screaming and I walked in, and here was her little saline abortion baby. It had been born and it was kicking and moving for a little while before it finally died of those terrible burns. Because the salt solution gets into the lungs and burns the lungs too.
Like Dr. Hill, I began thinking and you just think that if you club somebody on the head enough with a big club, they’d wake up, but like him, I had a very thick head, I guess, too. But I saw that more and more. Every time it would begin to eat away, I would thicken that callous a little bit more. I wasn’t making any money because I wasn’t in private practice yet. So it’s not that I was in it for the money. I was just simply uncommitted, and that’s the way a lot of people today are. We’re uncommitted; we’re afraid to stand up; we’re afraid to speak out. Maybe we aren’t afraid; we just don’t have our own convictions settled yet.
I remember another experience as a resident when I had an opportunity to help one of Abortion Manor’s partners on a hysterotomy. This lady was too far along for a suction D&C; we did not have prostaglandins in those days; we did not do D&Es very often in those days. So since she was in the second trimester and far enough along (four to five months), why she was going to have a hysterotomy. Well, that was kind of exciting to me, to see a Caesarian on a baby that young, so I helped on that surgery. I remember as we made the incision and got in and made the incision in the uterus, to see the baby move underneath the sack of membranes as the Caesarian incision was made before the doctor broke the water. The thought came to me, my God, that’s a person! Then he broke the water, and when he broke the water it was like I had a pain in my heart just like when I saw that first suction abortion. Then he delivered the baby and I couldn’t touch the baby. I wasn’t much of an assistant; I just stood there and the reality of what was going on was finally beginning to seep in to my calloused brain and heart. They simply took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking over and set it on the table in a cold stainless steel bowl. Every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in the uterus and finishing the Caesarean, I would see that little person kicking and moving in that bowl. It kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at that baby when we were done with surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest moving as the heart beat and the baby would try and take a little breath, and it really hurt inside and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was.
What do we do when something gets so close to us that it hurts? We either fight it or we put it away. Either we fight it or we run. If somebody jumps out at me, I’m either going to run or I’m going to fight. I wasn’t equipped to fight, and so I ran. The way we run is by putting up barriers. My barrier was, well, boy, that really hurt; that was a living baby; now this abortion thing, I’ve got to deal with that somehow; I’m going to just have to decide something for myself here. This is not good. So I made a startling decision. I decided that, for me, life began when a baby could survive outside the uterus, and if I was involved in something like that, that would be an abortion. That was a nice smokescreen, wasn’t it? That meant that when I did the suction abortions I wasn’t killing anything. That meant that when I helped out on a saline abortion, and they said, do you want to do one? Sure, I’d like to try and see how the needle works and see how it goes. I wasn’t doing an abortion. That meant that the hysterectomy that I helped on was not an abortion because the baby couldn’t have survived outside. After all, it sat in the dish and died. So, for me, life began after 28 weeks and I continued doing abortions.
Then I saw more babies being born earlier and, you know, with our neonatal intensive care units and all of our modern technology. Back in 1973, we couldn’t do a whole lot other than on an anecdotal basis with babies that were even 28 weeks. But as technology increased, suddenly they were having luck with babies that were 28 weeks old, and then 27 weeks, and then 26 weeks. So I began to drop my smokescreen and I said, well, abortion then is after 27 weeks. Well, no, it’s after 26 weeks. Well, maybe it’s 24 weeks. Then I got to thinking maybe it’s 20 weeks. All I was doing was avoiding the problem.
The next smokescreen was, well, it’s really a baby when it’s all formed, so after 12 weeks it’s a baby so the first trimester abortions aren’t really abortions, and I can handle that. So I lived like that for a while.
I have big feet; I wear a size 14 shoe. All these different shoes I was trying on seemed big enough in the beginning, you know, but they were getting small real fast and they weren’t fitting. The next thing I knew I kept dropping my smokescreen back to where life occurred earlier and earlier.
When I became a Christian I realized that life occurs at conception. And once that startling discovery had been made, it was very simple to stop doing abortions. That decision and Christianity didn’t come during residency, however. After residency I went into the military for two years, and it’s hard for me to say these things because it took ten years for God to work in my life to where I was able to deal with the guilt that I felt for all the abortions that I had done. But when I went into the military, I used to take pride in the fact that if a woman came to me and she was pregnant and wanted the baby, I could take care of her. I had a fine training in OB/GYN. And, if a woman came to me and she did not want the baby, I took pride in the fact that I could take care of her as well by doing an abortion.
So, I was doing abortions in the military and we’d line them up. It was sort of like private practice, and we did a good number of abortions. At that time, my shoes had shrunk down to where now I had to wear the size that included just the first trimester.
What happened next in my life was that a very precious woman, who is now my wife, invited me to go to church. She wasn’t even a Christian at the time. But I went to church and guess what happened to me? What was I going to do with this girl who was coming in for an abortion, and I’ll tell you, that was a tough time for me. Because I had the feeling that if I did just the one more, then I wouldn’t have to do any again. I could just fulfill this commitment and do this last one, and that could be my last one.
But, you know, God reminded me of that calloused heart that I had developed, and that if I did one more, after making the commitment as a Christian, that I would get back into that same old problem again. So, by God’s grace, I told that girl that I couldn’t do it. I wish I had known what happened to her; I never did find out. But that was a turning point in my life and a very special time.
From a woman who had prenatal testing which showed that her son had Down Syndrome, yet chose to give birth to him and parent:
“Experiencing this testing sequence firsthand, however, gave me some insights into the potentially pernicious efforts of the prenatal testing process. The tests are all offered in the guise of “reassurance.” They all carry with them the implication that the responsible mother can and should do something constructive with the results: take extra iron if she’s found to be anemic, take AZT if she has HIV, abort the baby if he has Down Syndrome. If you lack the financial or other resources to raise a child with a disability, you could easily be swayed by an argument that the knowledge you now possess about the child gives you the responsibility to do something constructive to solve the problem – by doing away with the child.
Now, this argument could obviously be a powerful incentive for a person to choose an abortion. Going through this process personally made me acutely aware of its power…. What surprised me was that people did not stop making this argument once I had rejected it during the testing phase. When I started telling people that the baby I was expecting would have Down Syndrome, colleagues asked me incredulously, “Why are you having this baby?”… [After the baby was born] I found, to my astonishment, that society still kept asking that question – why did you have this baby? I have seen people react with marked surprise when they hear that I knew Petey would have Down Syndrome before he was born. Though they do not ask aloud, you can see the question in their eyes: “if you knew, why did you have the baby?” What’s buried in that question, deep in their eyes, is the perception of my son as a “choice” – specifically, my choice – rather than a unique human being created in God’s image, a full-fledged member of the human race.”
Elizabeth R Schlitz. “Living in the Shadow of Monchberg: Prenatal Testing and Genetic Abortion” in Erika Bachiochi. The Cost of “Choice”: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2004)
Marie Ideson was just over 16 weeks pregnant with a Down Syndrome child.
“I was bullied into going ahead with an abortion,” says Ideson, 46, a GP surgery manager. “I only wish I could turn back the clock. I think of the daughter I never had every day. I’ll always regret it.”
Ideson had an amniocentesis to determine if the baby she was carrying was disabled. She was told it was a routine part of pre-natal care. Four days later, she received a call from the hospital:
“A woman said, ‘I’m sorry to say your baby has Down.’ It was devastating. My first thought was, how will we cope?
“I told Allan I wanted to keep the baby and he agreed.”
Then she went into talk to the doctor, hoping that he would help her in her decision to keep her baby.
“We believed the hospital would be able to offer us reassurance that with the latest medical help, our baby would be OK. But doctors said she could be born needing emergency heart surgery and have bowel and muscle tone problems – and that was if she survived. At no time did anyone suggest we might keep our baby. A termination was presented as the only way forward.”
“A nurse said not aborting my baby would cause it to suffer, and she’d only become a burden on society if I went ahead. She even said, ‘99 per cent of women in your situation wouldn’t want the baby.’ Having it would be a burden on our other children, too, she said, especially if it was likely to need many operations throughout its life.
“Our children were at the hospital with us. I looked at them and thought the medical staff must be right.”
She decided to have the abortion, and took the tablet that would induce a miscarriage.
“I felt numb as I swallowed the tablet. I remember saying to Allan, ‘I just want to keep my baby.’ But he just kept saying, ‘But they must think the baby’s really bad, Marie – it’s for the best.’”
When she actually delivered her child, stillborn, she realized what a terrible mistake she had made.
“She was so small, but otherwise perfect. I started sobbing uncontrollably. What had I done? I realised I’d been bullied into taking that first pill. I felt overwhelmed by anger. I should’ve been sent home to think about all the options. It should’ve been pointed out that having my baby was an option and that, with medical advances, most Down babies go on to live happy lives.”
I felt so guilty and upset. I felt I should have kept her. And if Lillie wasn’t going to survive, I’d have been happier letting nature take its course.”
The abortion became an issue between Ideson and her husband.
“I knew he was devastated, too, but I was angry he’d allowed staff to rush me into getting rid of her. The feeling he didn’t support me when I needed him most festered between us.”
“The final straw came when I was in labour with Reuben [her next baby]. We were at home and the midwives wanted me to go to the hospital, but I told them I couldn’t go back to where I’d terminated Lillie. Allan tried to persuade me to go and, in the end, I had no choice. I felt, again, Allan hadn’t spoken up for me when I was at my most vulnerable. I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive him.”
Like many couples after abortion, they split up.
“My eldest sons are 25 now. When I was pregnant with them, I knew of women who had babies with Down syndrome. Today, I never see mums with Down babies. I can’t believe that everyone who finds out their baby has Down syndrome willingly chooses to abort it. I can’t help feeling that other women must be having abortions they don’t want.”