“It is advisable to use the biggest forceps you can get” when performing second trimester abortions, abortionist says

By Sarah Terzo

Abortionist Dr. Cope:

It is advisable to use the biggest forceps that you can get through the cervix to morcellate the fetus…

[The need to] “visually check the parts as they are retrieved” “is necessary to ensure complete evacuation but is part of the reason that second trimester abortion is not popular among surgeons. All those here who do second trimester abortions will agree that the most difficult ones are those between 14 and 16 weeks. In those, there is a tendency for the uterus to form an ‘hourglass’ and the head and part of the trunk to be trapped in the upper part and difficult to retrieve. The passage of large, recognizable fetal parts by the woman some hours or days later is extremely distressing for the woman and her family.

(“Morcellate” is a medical term. It refers to tearing into small pieces, such as a tumor. In this case, it means tearing apart an unborn baby.)

From Celeste McGovern, “Fourteen Week Olds Cost 250- Cash,” The Report. February 28, 2000.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.