Congressional Fetal Tissue investigation also uncovers late abortion horrors
Editor’s note. Last month, the special Select Investigative Panel of the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee released its Final Report. The results of months of investigation, the special panel’s report addressed the involvement of Planned Parenthood in harvesting and possibly selling fetal tissue and organs harvested from aborted babies. Those results were summarized in Part One which ran late last week.
However, in the process of the select panel’s investigation into the fetal tissue industry, a number of additional very disturbing and disconcerting elements surfaced. For example, researchers that use fetal tissue also have interest in tissue and organs extracted from older unborn children. Why? Because they are more developed and the tissue is more differentiated. This led the select panel to seek information on abortion clinics which perform multiple late abortions, and would be sources for researchers.
What some of the employees at these very late term abortion clinics told investigators demonstrated just how far some abortionists would go.
Those who saw the original videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) got some idea of the lengths to which Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion performer, would go. This was made clear when the group’s Los Angeles abortionist and the national organization’s senior director of medical services Deborah Nucatola casually mentioned that Planned Parenthood clinics and affiliates in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, New England, and the Midwest offered abortions at 18-20 weeks, suggesting to undercover actors who she thought were part of a tissue procurement start-up company that these clinics might be good sources of older tissue
But the more the special panel looked, the more they found that Planned Parenthood was not alone. There were multiple clinics that performed the abortions at twenty weeks or more, some even into the third trimester. It became painfully clear that the callousness, barbarity, and potential law breaking they saw at Planned Parenthood was hardly unique.
Unborn Unwelcome at University Hospital
People normally associate abortion with clinics, as most hospital staff typically want nothing to do with it. A concerted effort by wealthy abortion backers such as Warren Buffett has helped fund fellowships at many of the nation’s top medical schools and universities, not only reintroducing abortion into the curriculum, but the practice back to university hospitals.
One such school is the University of New Mexico (UNM). Before 2000, neither the UNM hospital nor any of its clinics regularly performed abortions. They did so only in rare instances where there were children with developmental anomalies or threats to the mother’s health.
After administrators pressed UNM to offer abortions, chemical abortions with RU-486 were added in 2002. Next came early surgical abortions using manual vacuum aspiration.
However today, the select panel reports, the UNM Hospital performs surgical abortions up through 25 weeks gestation – and not just for “maternal health” or “fetal anomalies,” but for any reason.
And at or beyond 24-25 weeks, the university indicates that “pregnancy termination will be considered on a case-by-case basis for maternal or fetal reasons.” The administrator of the program admitted to lawyers from the panel there were times when third trimester abortions were performed for “indications” that could include non-fatal conditions such as Down syndrome. (“Final Report” of the Select Investigative Panel of the Energy & Commerce Committee, December 30, 2016, hereafter referred to as “SPR,” pp. 235-6)
As a medical school, UNM not only performed but taught late abortions. An abortionist only identified as “Clinic A Dr.#1″ was trained at the Southwest Women’s Option’s (SWWO) and the local Planned Parenthood clinic. According to the report of the select panel, “During the four weeks of her fellowship at SWWO in Albuquerque, she testified she performed or assisted in approximately 10 to 15 third-trimester abortions.”
Adding those to the late abortions she performed once she was employed by the clinic, “she estimated she performed over the course of her work at SWWO in Albuquerque a total of possibly more than 50 third-trimester abortions.” (SPR, p. 239)
Unprepared for Life
Even though as a matter of course the residents in its program are trained to perform late abortion procedures, UNM had no procedures in place to handle situations where the abortion “failed” and the child was born alive.
In fact, the program administrator did not even seem to be familiar with the language of the 2002 Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which specified that infants born alive are human persons, and thus entitled to all the legal protections human persons have under the law.
“Dr. Administrator,” as the panel refers to her, first said to panel lawyers that she did not know whether UNM fellows trained at SWWO would have been trained on what to do if a child was born alive during an attempted abortion. But she admitted under further questioning that the curriculum did not call for training to deal with such a possibility. Asked if this included resuscitation training, “Dr. Administrator” stated, “OB/GYN doctors do not resuscitate neonates.”
Panel lawyers say that when read the language of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act and asked if she agreed with it, “Dr. Administrator” replied “I’m not familiar with the law.” She admitted she had never discussed the law with counsel and said she did not “understand the relevance of this to my practice” (SPR, pp. 293, 295)
This admission is coming from a faculty member who has been at UNM at least 15 years and is now, according to the select panel, the administrator of the training programs with the SWWO clinic.
Other institutions of higher killing
UNM came to the attention of the committee because UNM employees were regularly collecting tissue from the SWWO clinic where they had a training program. The select panel found similar arrangements between universities in Washington state, Wisconsin, and Michigan and local clinics in their areas. In at least two of these, where there were university faculty involved, late abortions were performed.
In Washington state, a local abortion chain, the Cedar River Clinics, advertises abortions up to 26 weeks. They supplied fetal tissue for research at University of Washington (UW) for at least 14 years. The chain employs several UW faculty members on at least a part-time basis. (SPR, pp. 256-257).
In Wisconsin, the panel found that an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin was “central to plans to provide late term, second trimester abortions in Madison, Wisconsin” (SPR, p. 276)
Old Practices Die Hard
The panel identified another abortionist, “Abortion Doctor #1,”who performed late abortions for years in Nebraska and later in Maryland. One doesn’t have to read very far between the lines to determine that they were probably talking about Leroy Carhart, the infamous abortionist who was part of two partial-birth abortion cases which reached the Supreme Court: Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) and Gonzales v. Carhart (2007).
When Nebraska passed legislation that made abortions after 20 weeks illegal, Carhart opened a practice in Maryland where his work would not be impeded.
That Leroy Carhart performed late abortions is not really news. But what the panel uncovered through testimony of employees of “Abortion Doctor #1″ was just how far he was willing to go.
Employees of “Abortion Doctor #1″ who testified before the panel said that he considered viability to be at 27 weeks and did not require women seeking abortions at 20 to 27 weeks to provide any justification before then.
A clinic worker filmed by the Center for Medical Progress at the National Abortion Federation conference said that their clinic did not perform many abortions before 18 weeks. “We’re one of the big three. We do up to 35 weeks” (SPR, p. 283).
Horrors in Houston
Some of the most horrific testimony came from employees of a Houston abortionist the panel identifies only as “an abortion provider who has operated at three locations in Houston, Texas, including the Aaron’s Women’s Clinic (“Aaron”), the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center, and the Women’s Pavilion; and at the Northpark Medical Group in Dallas.
Employees of the Houston abortionists testified that in a typical week, he would perform abortions at 20 weeks or more gestation on about 40 patients. Of those, a medical assistant identified as “Employee #1″ said:
approximately three or four infants would show signs of life… This typically happened when infants were extracted from the cervix in a breech position. At times, the infant would slide completely out because of the extent of the dilation caused by the laminaria administered to patients. In all such cases, [name of doctor redacted] would terminate their lives. The signs of life they exhibited would include movement of the stomach as the infant breathed or movement of the toes or fingers. (SPR, p. 105)
Methods that the unnamed doctor used to kill the babies, according to Employee #1, included:
snipping the infant’s spinal cord with scissors; cutting the neck with Sopher forceps or similar instruments; twisting the infant’s head; using forceps, other instruments, or his finger to crush the “soft spot” of the infant’s head, or crushing it by the same means through its stomach; or inserting his finger down its throat. If the infant’s cranium was coming out first, he would usually use his index finger to puncture its head, but if it was coming out feet first, he would instead insert an instrument in the back of the infant’s head. (SPR, p. 105)
Employee #1 said that the abortionists performed a number of abortions during the third trimester where there was no serious threat to the mother’s or child’s health. Another medical assistant, known as “Employee #2,” said that “As long as the patients had the cash, he was going to do it past the 25 weeks.”
Two other employees of the Houston abortionist alleged that he regularly falsified sonogram results, either overstating the age to overbill customers or “to conceal the advanced gestational age of the fetus beyond the legal limit in Texas.” Employee #1 said:
I have witnessed this happen in cases involving fetuses as old as 28 weeks. [Redacted abortionist] would typically tell his ultrasound technician in cases involving fetuses beyond a certain gestational age to allow him to perform the ultrasound himself; he would then bring the patient an ultrasound picture showing another fetus at the gestational age he was misrepresenting to the patient. (SPR, p. 106)
The abortion lobby sometimes tries to garner sympathy for its grisly work by talking about abortions as a “tragic” choice. However, as the report of the special panel makes clear, they do not advertise how they take advantage of women who are later in their pregnancies so that they can abort them and use (and sometimes sell) the tissue and organs from their unborn children.
With some of these abortionists, it appears almost as a point of professional pride just how late it is that they “provide” abortions. And how far they’ll go to insure the death of these babies, perhaps even after they have been born, is evidence not of these children’s inhumanity, but their own.