“Twice Born”: Fetal medicine in PBS special provides a stark contrast to dismemberment abortions

By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life

Editor’s note. I am re-running this terrific post because earlier this month West Virginia passed its Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. There are now three states which have this law on the books–Kansas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia– and Mississippi’s governor is expected to sign its version into law soon. This story was first written just before pro-life Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed his state’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, the first in the nation. The bill has also been introduced in Idaho, Missouri and Nebraska. It is expected it will also be introduced in several other states.

twiceborn94reI was dog-tired last night, but I had been intrigued by the promos earlier this week for the PBS three-part special, Twice Born. The trailer starts out with this teaser:

“Thirty years ago, a group of pediatric surgeons came up with a radical idea. In the history of mankind the idea had never been proposed. At medical conferences few would take the idea seriously. The idea was this: to treat birth defects while babies were still in the womb.”

I tuned in. This “first-ever look inside the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and its unique Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit” did not disappoint.

The first installment introduces the audience to key physicians and several patients at the Center. The Center specializes in “pregnancies complicated by birth defects” with an impressive claim: “More than 1,224 patients have undergone fetal surgery at our Center, the largest number of any hospital in the world.”

Twice Born focuses on treating serious medical problems detected in the womb, including invasive tumors, spina bifida, and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The first show was well-paced and personalized the staff, particularly one physician whose daughter has a degenerative disease.

But beyond the pathos of the medical conditions depicted, and beyond the admiration for the dedication and compassion of the medical staff, a deliberate feeling kept rising in me: THIS is what medicine naturally aspires to…how marvelous…how noble! This is what physicians SHOULD be doing!

And I got teary-eyed–but not just because of the sad stories. No, my emotion derived from all the horrific things done to marvelously developing babies in the womb that I’ve had to contemplate and explain as part of our state’s campaign to end dismemberment abortion.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has passed both houses of the Kansas Legislature and awaits only the promised signature of pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback.

As part of the educational campaign, I’ve learned how these D&E/dismemberment abortions are done: a living unborn child is demolished piece by piece inside the anesthetized mother, who is almost certainly unaware of the cruelly painful death being inflicted on her child. And then the “trained abortion specialist” coldly stares at the shredded body parts and reconstructs the tiny unborn child into a tray.

How did these abortionists get to the place where the unborn baby is reduced to a project to be heartlessly disassembled? How did they stray so far from the integrity of the fetal surgeons at the Children’s Hospital?

At one point they all attended similar medical schools. Ironically, Philadelphia is the very same town where notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell did his grisly business! Yet the two kinds of physicians –fetal surgeons and abortionists–might as well live on different planets.

In the trailer to Twice Born, The Center’s Dr. N. Scott Adzick says

“We’re driven by trying to find solutions to those unsolved problems. It’s a miracle and a privilege to take care of patients. Babies are the future, what can be more compelling than a baby?…gosh!”

We can only hope that the magnificent medicine practiced at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment continues to be a beacon that guides and inspires our nation to throw over the madness that currently justifies abortion.