By Sarah Terzo
One way of doing abortions is by induction, or inducing labor. The baby is usually first injected with poison, such as digoxin or potassium chloride, killing him or her. Labor is induced, usually with prostaglandins or Cytotec. The woman goes through labor and “gives birth” to her dead child. All third trimester and many late second trimester abortions are done this way.
Often when the mother is aborting due to fetal anomaly (a disability or illness in the baby) she chooses to do it by induction because she wants to hold, photograph, or see the baby afterwards .
In their book, abortion doulas Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell, who have seen many abortions, describe abortion by induction:
“Some clients are under the impression that labor inductions would be more “natural” or easier or safer than the surgical abortion. Many think of their own birth experiences with other children, and they feel more comfortable doing that than they do dealing with the drama of having a surgical abortion. It’s a rude awakening when they realize that a labor induction is not very “natural” at all. Clients are given medications to start labor and IV’s with fluids. They are strapped to monitors – they can’t move, they can’t eat, and their contractions are often so bad that they choose an epidural. According to physician David Grimes, the uterus is not evolved to deliver a pregnancy during the second trimester. Miscarriages usually happen in the first trimester, and babies are delivered in the third, at the end of the pregnancy. Labor inductions in the second trimester can be as long and arduous as any full-term birth but with more medications. In other words – not a natural birth process.”
From Mary Mahoney and Lauren Mitchell, The Doulas: Radical Care for Pregnant People (New York: Feminist Press, 2016), p. 115.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.