Dr. Martin Haskell on late term abortions

Abortion provider Dr. Martin Haskell is quoted saying that 80% of his procedures are elective (i.e. on healthy mothers with healthy babies) He also denies the pro-choice claim that most or all fetuses in partial birth abortions are dead before the procedure.

Reporter: Let’s talk first about whether or not the fetus is dead beforehand…

Haskell: No, it’s really not…in my case, I would think probably about a third of those are definitely…dead before I actually start to remove the fetus. And probably the other two-thirds are not.

Reporter: Is the skull procedure also done to make sure that the fetus is dead so you’re not going to have the problem of a live birth?

Haskell: It’s immaterial. If you can’t get it out, you can’t get it out.

Reporter: I mean, you couldn’t dilate further? Or is that riskier?

Haskell: Well, you could dilate further over a period of days.

Reporter: Would that just make it…would it go from a 3-day procedure to a 4- or a 5?

Haskell: Exactly. The point here is to effect a safe legal abortion. I mean, you could say the same thing about the D&E [dialtion or dismemberment and extraction] procedure.

You know, why do you do the D&E procedure? Why do you crush the fetus up inside the womb? To kill it before you take it out? Well, that happens, yes. But that’s not why you do it.

You do it to get it out. I could do the same thing with a D&E procedure…But that’s not really the point. The point here is you’re attempting to do an abortion. And that’s the goal of your work, is to complete an abortion. Not to see how do I manipulate the situation so that I get a live birth instead.

Reporter: I wanted to make sure I have both you and (Dr.) McMahon saying ‘No’ then. That this is misinformation, these letters to the editor saying it’s only done when the baby’s already dead, in case of fetal demise and you have to do an autopsy. But some of them are saying they’re getting that information from NAF [National Abortion Federation]. Have you talked to Barbara Radford or anyone over there?

Haskell: Well, I had heard that they were giving that information, somebody over there might be giving information like that out. The people that staff the NAF office are not medical people. And many of them when I gave my paper, many of them came in, I learned later, to watch my paper because many of them have never seen an abortion performed of any kind.

Reporter: Did you also show a video when you did that?

Haskell: Yeah. I taped a procedure a couple of years ago, a very brief video, that simply showed the technique. The old story about a picture’s worth a thousand words.

Reporter: As National Right to Life will tell you.

Haskell: Afterwards they were just amazed. They just had no
idea. And here they’re rabid supporters of abortion. They work in the office there. And…some of them have never seen one performed…And I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective…”

U.S. Congressional Record 1996 p H2919

Dr. Martin Haskell, explaining how his late-term abortion method is used to effect safe abortions, to American Medical News

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