Abortionist Susan Robinson and snapping third-trimester photos in “a grotesquely morbid way”

By Dave Andrusko

"After Tiller" filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson.

“After Tiller” filmmakers Martha Shane and Lana Wilson.

I supposed someone of the four abortionists who will admit to “providing” third trimester abortions had to become the “go-to” interview once the documentary celebrating the foursome began getting circulation in the United States. And that someone is Susan Robinson whom we wrote about most recently last week (“The need for late-term abortions will never go away”–More on the documentary “After Tiller” )

I talked about some of the disturbing comments Robinson made in an interview with The Hairpin. But if you read Jodi Gidding’s update, you’ll find some of what I discussed and even more disturbing analysis.

The title of the piece is “Dr. Susan Robinson Performs Third-Trimester Abortions, Snaps Commemorative Photos.”

Giddings begins by talking about “The kids are making memories that will last a lifetime,” a reference to Picture Day at her daughter’s school.

“But her school is not the only place taking commemorative photos,” Giddings writes. “No, snapping photos is happening somewhere else, too, but in a grotesquely morbid way.”

Robinson is walking a tight rope, as we discussed last week. Defending killing babies late, late in pregnancy—long past the time when the baby is viable—requires obfuscation and excuse-mongering and running around the plain fact that something unbelievably horrible is taking place.

So, for example, when Robinson is talking about aborting babies with fetal anomalies she makes a glancing reference to the “disabled-rights side to this.” But, in the end (of course)

“When parents are saying, ‘We do not feel we can adequately cope with that issue,’ I believe them, and I don’t think they’d have an easy time putting a child with severe disabilities up for adoption successfully.’”

Never mind that overwhelmingly the babies who are aborted have been diagnosed with Down syndrome and that there are lengthy lists of couples eager to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. That is a kind of rhetorical cough to hide Robinson’s blatant insincerity.

(Last week we wrote about how Robinson also slides around a very uncomfortable truth: “I think that the public perceives first of all that late abortion could be completely eliminated if people would only get their act together and have their abortions earlier, which is completely untrue.” Robinson offers a bevy of extenuating circumstances—excuses—to get around the simple truth that some unspecified percentage abort huge, mature babies for reasons most people would not believe are commensurate with the gravity killing a viable unborn baby.” But in this post, we will not deal with this.)

Giddings quotes at length from the interview with The Hairpin, particularly the parts that deal “with fetal anomaly patients.” (In the section that follows Robinson is talking about babies who will die with hours of being born.) We read

“But with a fetal indications patient—if she refers to it as her baby, I’ll refer to it as her baby. If she’s named the baby, I’ll use the baby’s name too. I would say that most of these patients do decide to see and hold their baby, although many of them have a hard time dealing with the idea at first. We’ll take remembrance photographs, we’ll give them a teddy bear, the footprints… I don’t want them to go home from the procedure with absolutely nothing to remember and honor the baby, and its birth.”

Nobody, certainly not me the father of four, is going to minimize the wrenching heartbreak that is the constant companion of parents who are given this diagnosis. What pro-lifers do say, however, is that perinatal hospice is a model of support pioneered by Dr Byron Calhoun, one that genuinely honors the baby, the mother, and their extended family. (See “A hospice in the womb: When prenatal diagnosis brings bad news about their child, parents deserve a real choice of paths. Happily, there is a beautiful option available”)

A couple known to members of our church just went through this. They had planned to carry their very injured baby to term but she died in utero. I cannot imagine the pain when this was misreported as a “termination of pregnancy.”

Giddings concludes with a powerful message:

“My very first blog for Victory Girls described the experience I had with a friend who underwent a late-term abortion. She was fully aware of the pregnancy, but procrastinated until she was about six months along, then aborted the infant. It was an horrific experience, one that likely pushed her into drug and alcohol abuse. She didn’t need a photo of her dead baby to remind her; it was seared into her memory with a mental branding iron. Dr. Robinson may sincerely believe that she is ‘helping’ women through the trauma of aborting a viable baby, snapping commemorative photos of the deceased infant, but for me she’s the Jeffery Dahmer of the lucrative late-term abortion industry.”

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