The Sensations of Dismemberment

A D&E abortion is so gruesome that when it was first developed in the 1970s, a leading abortionist said:

“We have produced an unusual dilemma. A procedure is rapidly becoming recognized as the procedure of choice in late abortion, but those capable of performing or assisting with the procedure are having strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent…Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own…No one who has not performed this procedure can know what it is like or what it means…We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like electric current…”

Warren Hern, M.D, 1978: (Rachel M. MacNair Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress: The Psychological Consequences of Killing (Westport, CT:Praeger, 2002) 73

Diagram of a D&E:

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