By Andrew Bair
Groundbreaking legislation recently introduced in Kansas that would protect unborn children from dismemberment abortions is causing quite the stir among abortion advocates.
A recent article by Tara Culp-Ressler featured on ThinkProgress described the legislation as “the next anti-abortion strategy lurking around the corner.” According to the author, the bill is “cloaked in emotional language” and filled with “evocative details.”
But it’s not the language of the bill that elicits strong reactions; it’s the reality of dismemberment abortions themselves. It’s unthinkable that in a civilized society we would permit our youngest members to have their tiny limbs pulled and twisted apart.
These are the same little ones we can see plain as day on an ultrasound with a beating heart, unique facial features, and tiny hands and feet. These reminders resonate with our most basic humanity.
Culp-Ressler’s article quotes Dr. Anne Davis, the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health and an OB-GYN who provides abortions. Davis exclaimed, “Immediately, when I heard the title of these bills, I had to take a deep breath and calm down.”
“This is a familiar tactic, similar to the other types of bans we’ve seen. It seems the strategy is to take language that provokes emotional responses and then to argue that, because there’s an emotional reaction to something, it should be illegal,” she continued.
Elizabeth Nash, the states issue manager at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, also took issue with the language: “Clearly this is an effort to take some of the tactics of the past — using very graphic descriptions and inflammatory language — to ban access to abortion.”
Yet, abortionists themselves note the gruesome nature of dismemberment abortions.
Dr. Warren Hern, a Colorado abortionist who has performed numerous D&E abortions and has written a textbook on abortion procedures, has stated “there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator [of a D&E abortion]. It is before one’s eyes. The sensation of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy offered this description of the D&E abortion technique:
“After sufficient dilation [of the cervix], a doctor inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab a living fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn apart limb by limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”
In place of a straightforward description, ThinkProgress chose this vague description: “It [D&E abortion] involves dilating the cervix and using surgical instruments to remove the fetal and placental tissue.”
While nothing is technically inaccurate about that description, it purposefully omits the key details about what happens to the unborn child, skipping over the dismemberment process entirely.
The article also questioned the validity of a medical illustration of a D&E abortion.
The writer refers to the graphic as National Right to Life’s “renderings” of a D&E abortion. But in fact, that graphic is an off-the-shelf image from the standard catalog of images produced by Nucleus Medical Art, a leading provider (probably the leading provider) of the technical medical illustrations used in every area of medical education. The drawing was not commissioned by NRLC, nor altered by NRLC. The image is NMA’s depiction of a D&E abortion at 23 weeks LMP (21 weeks fetal age).
But nothing needs to be changed to shock the conscience. A straightforward graphic of that a D&E abortion at 23 weeks speaks for itself.
Dismemberment abortions, like partial-birth abortions, tear on the public’s heartstrings because it forces us to face a horrifying reality. No longer is abortion a social or political issue, but a human issue, which results in the brutal deaths of the youngest members of the human family.
Science shows that within 3-4 weeks after fertilization, the growing unborn child’s heart begins its first beats. By 6 weeks, the child has detectable brainwaves and a complete skeletal system. A week later, the child has complete fingers, toes and ears, and by 8 weeks all organs are formed and functioning. By 20 weeks, the unborn child has the capability to feel pain.
Dr. George Flesh, a former abortionist, wrote,
“Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb, is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life, nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires. This is not based on what the fetus might feel but on what we should feel in watching an exquisite, partly formed human being being dismembered.”
It’s well past time that our society stands up and protects its youngest and most vulnerable from the violence of dismemberment abortions.